Steve Jobs named chief executive of the decade

Iain Thomson | Nov 7, 2009 7:35 AM
Fortune magazine honours Apple supremo.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has been named CEO of the Decade by Fortune magazine.

The publication said that innovations like the iPod, iTunes and iPhone had been key to clinching the title, and that Jobs had radically reshaped three key industry sectors: music, movies and mobile.

"The past decade in business belongs to Jobs," said Fortune. "What makes that simple statement even more remarkable is that, barely a year ago, it seemed likely that any review of his accomplishments would be valedictory. But, by deeds and accounts, Jobs is back."

Jobs's effect on Apple has been stunning, the magazine said. The company had a market capitalisation of around US$5bn ($5.46bn) in 2000. That figure has risen to US$170bn ($185.54bn) today, and the company has $34bn ($37.11bn) in cash and marketable securities, which is more than Dell.

If an investor had bought US$1,000 ($1091) worth of Apple stock in 2000 they would have lost money for the first five years. Today that stock would be worth US$7,515 ($8,201).

Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison told Fortune that Jobs is "irreplaceable".

"He's built a fabulous brand. He's got a wealth of products. Whenever he leaves, I hope he retires in good health and sails off in his yacht in the Mediterranean," he said.

"But they're going to miss him terribly, because it's a consumer products company. The product cycle is so fast."