Milton Moskowitz, ‘Best Companies’ List Maker, Is Dead at 91
When Milton Moskowitz got down to evaluation America’s best possible corporations to paintings for, he took a unique way: He talked to their workers.
He and a colleague, Robert Levering, spent greater than a 12 months touring the rustic, interviewing loads of employees in dozens of towns. The ensuing e-book, “The 100 Best Companies to Work For in America,” used to be a best possible dealer when it used to be printed in 1984, and it laid the groundwork for an identical lists, each by way of Mr. Moskowitz and by way of imitators world wide.
“A good workplace,” he wrote in The New York Times in 2007, “is one where management trusts the employees and where employees trust the management.”
Mr. Moskowitz died on March five at his house in Mill Valley, Calif. He used to be 91. His brother, Gerald, showed the loss of life.
Mr. Moskowitz and Mr. Levering compiled “best companies” lists every year for Fortune mag starting in 1998, despite the fact that those had been according to surveys of workers and no longer on in-person visits. He outlined his standards extensively, taking into account pay and advantages but in addition much less tangible elements that workers mentioned mattered to them, like an organization’s venture and whether or not they felt they had been handled slightly.
The lists, that are nonetheless printed every 12 months, have turn into a staple of company branding campaigns. But to Mr. Moskowitz, they had been a part of a lifelong inquiry into the function of commercial in society.
“He never wavered in his commitment to labor justice and social justice,” his stepson Laird Townsend mentioned in a telephone interview. “He just brought it inside corporate environments.”
Mr. Moskowitz started his profession as a wire-service reporter, then labored on Madison Avenue for the promoting company J. Walter Thompson. But he used to be extra comfy watching company America from the outdoor. In 1968 he started writing a biweekly publication, Business & Society, which involved in company social accountability at a time when that word had no longer but turn into a public-relations buzzword.
Mr. Moskowitz wrote a few vary of reasons, amongst them environmentalism, civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In one early publication, he famous that 20 years after Jackie Robinson helped combine Major League Baseball, just one primary American company had a black director. He used to be later ready to file development: By 1971, 16 corporations, together with Chase Manhattan Bank and CBS, had appointed black administrators.
Knowing that his target market used to be made up of commercial executives, Mr. Moskowitz made his case for social accountability with a watch towards the base line.
“The theory, which I subscribe to, is that companies blessed with socially sensitive managements will over the long term outperform their competitors,” he wrote in The Times in 1973. “They will do so because they are more attuned to the needs of society.”
The proof got here later, at least when it got here to 1 part of social accountability that Mr. Moskowitz cared about: the remedy of employees.
In 2007, a researcher at London Business School printed a paper discovering inventory portfolio made up of businesses at the Fortune lists outperformed trade benchmarks. That paper received an award for analysis into accountable making an investment that is known as for Mr. Moskowitz.
Milton Ralph Moskowitz, referred to as Milt, used to be born on Sept. 1, 1927, in Yonkers to Morris and Florence (Goodman) Moskowitz, Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His father labored in a fur manufacturing facility.
In addition to his brother and his stepson Laird, Mr. Moskowitz is survived by way of his spouse, Elizabeth Rollins; two sons, Jonah and Eben; a daughter, Abigail Moskowitz; 3 different stepsons, Lee Townsend Jr., Blaine Townsend and Salim Rollins; 3 stepdaughters, Leigh Ann Townsend, Leslie Parks-Bailey and Fatima Rollins; and 7 step-grandchildren. His first marriage, to Jean Rae Mell, resulted in divorce in 1982; his 2d spouse, Carol Townsend, died in 1995. A brother, Lawrence, died remaining 12 months.
Mr. Moskowitz began his journalism profession early. He edited campus publications as a pupil, first at New York University after which at the University of Chicago, and coated sports activities for an Army newspaper whilst stationed at Fort Benning, Ga. He would later inform pals that his time within the segregated South led him to tackle racial equality as a purpose.
He earned a bachelor’s level from the University of Chicago and enrolled in a grasp’s program there however dropped out upon getting married. Years later, he requested the college if his books — he wrote seven altogether — may qualify as a thesis. The college granted him a grasp of arts level in 2008.
After school, he labored as a replica boy at The Chicago Sun prior to touchdown a reporting activity at the International News Service. He later labored for Reuters and Advertising Age, and for 15 years wrote a industry column, “The Money Tree,” for The San Francisco Chronicle.
Mr. Levering, his longtime co-author, mentioned Mr. Moskowitz at all times noticed himself as a reporter.
“He was skeptical of ideologues of any sort,” Mr. Levering mentioned in a telephone interview. “He didn’t buy that bosses were all bad and workers were all good. He was a true journalist.”
That intuition served him neatly when an editor at the publishing area Addison-Wesley steered that Mr. Moskowitz and Mr. Levering write a e-book at the 100 best possible puts to paintings. They weren’t instantly interested in the speculation; Mr. Moskowitz later mentioned that they “weren’t sure they could find 100 worthy workplaces.”
Nor may they simply in finding knowledge at the corporations they had been taking into account for the record. So they hit the street, visiting corporations and asking employees two elementary questions: “What makes this a great place to work?” and “What would make it a better place?”
This labor-intensive way used to be dangerous: Mr. Levering recalled that they put the commute bills on their private bank cards as soon as their advance ran out. Fortunately, the e-book used to be a success.
A voracious reader with a near-perfect reminiscence for names and dates, Mr. Moskowitz remained lively into his ultimate years. He helped assemble his ultimate “best companies” record for Fortune in 2015.