Turnover per employee can be a very misleading measure of company performance if you don’t compare like with like – oil companies are very capital intensive and turnover per employee is enormous, against which the turnover per head of a car manufacturer or a fast food chain would look dismal. But where like is compared with like, it can be a very revealing measure, and the 1988 edition of the US Ward’s Business Directory for the first time analyses sales per employee ranked from highest to lowest among the top 1,000 industrial and service companies in their respective industrial segment. Apple Computer Inc is a winner in a lot of ways these days, and the company tops the computer industry tree in turnover per employee too, turning in an impressive $339,600 per worker. Despite its troubles, Commodore International Ltd comes second with $296,400 per employee. Compaq Computer Corp is third with $284,200 per employee, giving the low end of the industry the top three places. But the spotlight swings to the other end of the scale with Cray Research Inc taking fourth place with $149,200 per employee – only a little over half that achieved by Apple. Tandem Computers Inc comes fifth with $134,300, followed by Amdahl Corp, $134,200. IBM Corp, still widely regarded as overmanned, comes seventh at $127,000. Intergraph Corp, $106,300; Prime Computer Inc; $99,800 and Control Data Corp, $97,300, complete the top 10. It is noteworthy that DEC does not make the list at all. The micro manufacturers clearly top the list because they have comparatively small sales forces – but amazingly, in another business where one would expect th eemployee base to be low, the beverage industry, which Coca Cola tops the tree with a figure $309,300 – close to that of Apple, Pepsico, from where Apple chief John Sculley was recruited, props up the table with a disconcerting $43,400 per head.