With Commercial Metals Co. celebrating a century of recycling and steel-making this year, at least 44 companies headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are now 100 or older.
Before continuing, a plea for help: Odds are that our research missed some firms that should be included. If you know of one, or more, please email me.
Century-old companies are rare. When IBM turned 100 awhile ago, USA Today
reported that fewer than 500 of more than 5,000 U.S. publicly traded companies were that age. A decade earlier, author James Lamprecht noted that about 2.5 percent of more than 30,000 manufacturing firms were a century old.
The Dallas Morning News’
North Texas Century Club list includes some of the biggest publicly traded companies on the planet, such as AT&T Inc. and Exxon Mobil Corp., which moved their headquarters here. It also includes small, family-run operations, such as Dallas Plumbing Co., that have always been based here.
Not included are arguably the two most influential homegrown corporations the region has known. Texas Instruments won’t celebrate its centennial until 2030. Electronic Data Systems, founded by Ross Perot in 1962, was wildly successful for decades. But the EDS name quickly evaporated after the company was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2008.
So how does a company survive to be 100, especially in this era of ever-accelerating change?
Experts cite several common characteristics: These companies avoid too much debt. They have a strong culture and sense of mission. They regularly create new growth businesses. They exit old operations when growth stops.