LONDON: Apple and Google are regarded as being the most "innovative" and "influential" companies among senior executives in the UK, a survey by TLG, the consultancy, has found.

The Thought Leadership Index 2009 was based on a poll of 1,000 ceos and other executives in the public and private sectors in the country, which was conducted by Populus.

It asked respondents to identify those organisations which they believed successfully introduced new thinking, products and business models, and also delivered on the "promise" of their particular brand.

Having finished behind Google, the online search titan, in the same study last year, Apple, the consumer electronics pioneer, managed to leapfrog its rival in the 2009 rankings.

Microsoft, the IT giant, retained third position, although it had to share this honour with Amazon, the online retailer, and GlaxoSmithKline, the healthcare company, this year.

The Co-operative Group, a retail-to-financial services conglomerate, fell from fourth to sixth, leaving it on an equal ranking with Marks & Spencer, the retailer, which was unchanged year-on-year.

Facebook, the social network, was a new entry in eighth, as was Twitter, the microblogging service, in tenth, with these Web 2.0 portals being separated by the Virgin Group, down four places to ninth.

Malcolm Gooderham, managing director of TLG, said the "companies with the greatest influence are those brands that positively define an industry or issue."

Tesco, BP and McKinsey all dropped out of the list this year, as did firms such as Goldman Sachs, BSkyB and the John LewisWaitrose partnership in 2008.

Data sourced from Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff