Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the decade

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has had a helluva decade.

Last month Apple CEO Steve Jobs made his first public appearance since coming back from medical after receiving a liver transplant earlier this year.
Last month Apple CEO Steve Jobs made his first public appearance since coming back from medical leave after receiving a liver transplant earlier this year. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Love him or hate him, you have to admit that Apple CEO Steve Jobs has had a helluva decade.

Consider that, under his helm, Apple defined the portable music player market with the iPod, has shaken up the mobile industry with the iPhone, rocked the retail music business with iTunes, and re-invented the computing business with OS X in a way that the PC business--with less than 10 percent of market share--is no longer the bread-and-butter of the company.

Add to that the brilliant marketing behind Apple and the loyal, almost cult-like following of Apple's fans, and it's no wonder that Fortune Magazine today named him the CEO of the decade. The opening lines of a story written by Fortune editor-at-large Adam Lashinsky (which also includes a nice video segment) explain it nicely:

How's this for a gripping corporate story line: Youthful founder gets booted from his company in the 1980s, returns in the 1990s, and in the following decade survives two brushes with death, one securities-law scandal, an also-ran product lineup, and his own often unpleasant demeanor to become the dominant personality in four distinct industries, a billionaire many times over, and CEO of the most valuable company in Silicon Valley. Sound too far-fetched to be true? Perhaps. Yet it happens to be the real-life story of Steve Jobs and his outsize impact on everything he touches.

Read more of "Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the decade" at ZDNet's Between the Lines.

About the author

    Sam Diaz is a senior editor at ZDNet. He has been a technology and business blogger, reporter and editor at the Washington Post, San Jose Mercury News, and Fresno Bee for more than 18 years.

     

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