Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Microsoft beat out Johnson & Johnson for the top spot in the annual Wall Street Journal survey of the reputations of U.S. companies. Bill Gates's personal philanthropy boosted the public's opinion of Microsoft, helping to end J&J's seven-year run at No. 1. From the article: 'Mr. Gates demonstrates how much the reputation of a corporate leader can rub off on his company. Formerly chief executive officer and now chairman of Microsoft, he contributed to a marked improvement in the company's emotional appeal. Jeanie Cummins, a survey respondent and homemaker in Olive Hill, Ky., says Mr. Gates's philanthropy made her a much bigger fan of Microsoft. "He showed he cared more for people than all the money he made building Microsoft from the ground up," she says. "I wish all the other big shots could do something like this." To be sure, some respondents still complain that Microsoft bullies its competitors and unfairly monopolizes the software business. But such criticism is less biting and less pervasive than it was just a few years ago.'"
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