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Apple's Steve Jobs named CEO of the decade

business Updated: Nov 06, 2009 15:35 IST
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He single-handedly saved Apple, wrought a revolution in online music, created a world-beating smartphone and led Pixar to dominate computer animation.

So it's no surprise that Apple chief executive Steve Jobs was named CEO of the decade on Thursday by Fortune magazine, which said that Jobs' success in reordering four industries - computers, music, movies and mobile telephones - was "unheard of."

"It's often noted that he's a showman, a born salesman, a magician who creates a famed reality-distortion field, a tyrannical perfectionist," the report said. "It's totally accurate, of course, and the descriptions contribute to his legend."

Comparing Jobs favourably to Henry Ford, PanAm's Juan Trippe and Conrad Hilton, the report said: "In the past decade, Jobs and Apple have entered and changed the industries of music, movies and cell phones. The company has also remained in the computer business, where it continues to innovate as it has done for decades. Remaking any one business is a career-defining achievement; four is unheard of."

The report surveyed Jobs' achievements since he returned to Apple in 1997, 12 years after being ousted from the company he founded.

It took him several years to get the company back in shape. Even as he introduced his long-term digital lifestyle strategy and the revolutionary iTunes software and music player in 2000, the company was facing bankruptcy.

It now has 34,000 employees and is valued at over $170 billion. During this period he also nurtured computer animation shop Pixar, which he sold to Disney in 2006 for $7.5 billion, making him the largest shareholder in the entertainment conglomerate.