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In Good Company

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Business & Industry

Ask someone to name three Northwest companies and you’ll probably hear Boeing, Microsoft, and Starbucks in reply.  But we have many other prominent brands headquartered here in Washington, in industries ranging from services to manufacturing; from retail to wholesale; and from travel to just about every part of the computer world.  You surely knew some of these companies were from these parts already, but we hope a few names on today’s list surprise you as much as they did us.  It’s startling to learn that a familiar national brand grew up just a few towns away.

It wouldn’t be practical (or possible) to name all Washington companies here, but we tried to assemble a manageable list of 30 while still reflecting the variety in the local business environment.  We apologize to those we left out.  What remains are some of the most significant publicly-traded corporations that call the state home.

We made two big exceptions (or inclusions, to be precise): Boeing and Zillow.  Boeing was founded and prospered in Seattle for 85 years, but shifted its headquarters to Chicago in 2001.  It retains a huge stake in its Puget Sound facilities and remains linked to the Northwest’s regional identity.  Seattle-based Zillow made it onto this list because it’s currently preparing for its initial public offering (IPO).  It isn’t being publicly traded yet, but is expected to join the NASDAQ ticker as ‘Z’ very soon.


Company Founded Business Current HQ Stock Exchange Ticker Symbol
Alaska Air Group 1985 airline travel services SeaTac NYSE ALK
Amazon.com 1994 online retail Seattle NASDAQ AMZN
Avista 1873 energy utility Spokane NYSE AVA
Boeing 1916 aerospace manufacture Chicago, IL NYSE BA
Clearwire 2003 wireless communications Kirkland NASDAQ CLWR
Coinstar 1991 movie rental (Redbox) and coin counting machines Bellevue NASDAQ CSTR
Costco 1993  wholesale merchandise Kirkland NASDAQ COST
Cray 1972 supercomputers Seattle NASDAQ CRAY
drugstore.com 1997  online retail Bellevue NASDAQ DSCM
Expedia 1996/99 travel booking services Bellevue NASDAQ EXPE
F5 Networks 1996 network software and hardware Seattle NASDAQ FFIV
Fisher Communications 1910 television, radio, and Internet media Seattle NASDAQ FSCI
InfoSpace 1996 Internet search services Bellevue NASDAQ INSP
Itron 1977 metering and data collection software Liberty Lake NYSE ITRI
Jones Soda 1987  beverages Seattle NASDAQ JSDA
Key Tronic 1969 computer keyboards Spokane NASDAQ KTCC
Microsoft 1975  software Redmond NASDAQ MSFT
Motricity 2001  content for mobile devices Bellevue NASDAQ MOTR
Nautilus 1986 exercise equipment Vancouver NYSE NLS
Nordstrom 1901  retail Seattle NYSE JWN
PACCAR 1905 heavy-duty trucks Bellevue NASDAQ PCAR
Plum Creek Timber 1989  owner and manager of timber lands Seattle NYSE PCL
RealNetworks 1995  Internet media software Seattle NASDAQ RNWK
Red Lion Hotels 1937  hotels Spokane NYSE RLH
Seattle Genetics 1997 cancer research Bothell NASDAQ SGEN
Starbucks 1971 coffee Seattle NASDAQ SBUX
Washington Federal 1917 banking Seattle NASDAQ WFSL
Weyerhaeuser 1900  timber and paper Federal Way NYSE WY
Zillow 2005 online real estate information Seattle NASDAQ Z
Zumiez 1978 sports clothing Everett NASDAQ ZUMZ

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