Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

Summary: Fortune Magazine names Apple CEO Steve Jobs CEO of the Decade.

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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.

Yes, I'm a Mac guy. We've been through that on this blog many times. But that doesn't necessarily mean I'm a huge fan of everything that Jobs and Apple do - after all, I'm also one of those press guys who would like to be less surprised and more prepared when the company makes news. I would especially appreciate the company confirming or squashing a rumor every now and then, too, so I don't have to spin my wheels trying to find out whether there's any real substance to it.

Putting that aside, you cannot deny that the manner in which Apple conducts business has been highly effective at not only increasing sales and broadening the company's portfolio but also setting trends, creating buzz and putting out top-notch (dare I say near perfect?) products again and again and again.

Having been to many of Apple's news announcements, I know first-hand about the giddiness in those auditoriums - even from the press. And the fact that Apple almost always has the items in-store and online by the time Jobs takes the stage surely helps spark some spontaneous sales. There's rarely a months-long wait for products the way there is for some competitors.

So, congratulations to Steve Jobs for a strong decade at the helm of Apple. Here's to the next one.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, CXO, Enterprise Software, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software

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11 comments
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  • congratz

    unlike you, im not a mac fan. even so, i recognize how important jobs is to the tech industry. without apple's OS (and linux, bsd, blah blah blah), windows wouldnt be any more different tha, oh say, windows 98 since there would be no reason for microsoft to add better features to their OS. competition is good, and we have jobs to thank.
    privatejarhead
  • It is probably....

    well deserved. I am not an Apple fan, but it is hard to argue with the success of Apple since his return.

    Congrats
    Economister
  • For all the trails Apple blazes

    Where is BluRay on the Macs? Screw iTunes movie rentals I have
    Netflix. Where's Universal Plug-N-Play? I can stream content to
    my PS3 & XBox360 with Windows' player but am unable to do so
    with iTunes.

    If Apple's success continues unabated, one day we will be
    associating Borg jokes with Apple instead of Microsoft.

    I like my iPhone 3Gs a hell of a lot but Apple's decisions strike me
    as "more of the same" with respect to tactics MS is often accused
    of.

    -M
    betelgeuse68
    • You will be poor all your life!

      LOL

      You see, you think so small that you cannot see success.

      Yes, even Microsoft has Jobs to thank for his vision, his leadership, the
      way he understands business.

      As a CEO, outstanding. As a tech visionary? Far superior to Mr. Gates,
      leaves Mr. Balmer in the dust.

      As a man, well, Fortune has it right.

      Jobs has never paid attention to either the bottom - line nor the value
      of the stock. All he has ever cared about is delivering fantastic
      products and value to his customers.

      The worst thing Steve Jobs has ever done is proven that most people
      know more about the price than they do about value.

      May he live long and prosper. Can't wait to see what the tablet does in
      January. Like before, it will certainly set the tech market on it's ear.

      Kindle, we hardly knew ye.
      mlindl
      • The worst thing Steve Jobs has ever done...

        ...is miss the fact that value has a direct relation to price for most mere mortals who have not become a billionaire several times over.

        No doubt about it, Jobs is a clever guy who knows how to run a company, but he has run into the same brick wall that Dell ran into, only Dell cannot differentiate themselves from the pack like Apple can so Dell gets it even worse.

        That brick wall is pricing. For a long time Dell felt free to command a rather hefty price tag for its hardware and many people felt the price was worth it because there was an illusion of quality attached to it. Even the Apple fanatics who swore Apples were not so costly often gave up examples of Dell configurations to show that PC's were not significantly cheaper then Apples. That should have been a warning sign to Dell a long time ago that being compared price wise to costly Apple computers was not an analogy one wants to be part of.

        It took a number of years but enough people figured out that in the end there was nothing spectacular about the quality of a Dell that justified such a high price for a PC and slowly but surely Dell lost footing in the market. And worse for Dell, there really is no easy way to get it back, people mostly recognize now that the same components go into a Dell as any other computer so even though Dell has long since dropped prices there is still no compelling reason to purchase a Dell over any other well know manufacturer so Dell is left hurting compared to their former position.

        Now Apple has been stuck in the same problem (with a favorable twist for them) where they are selling computers that simply cost more then the average PC. The favorable twist for Apple is perhaps twofold, foremost Apple run off of OSX which is certainly different then Windows and thus can be promoted as something that is not simply different but better then an average PC, true or not. Secondly Apple as a company has been smart to keep their production standards up and produce innovative products that have lead to a favorable impression of the company in general. Thats all good for Apple.

        What is bad for Apple, if they ever really want to open up the computer market in a big way, is that they have a significant disconnect between "value" and "price". While a well off person looks at value as something only tenuously connected to price, Joe Average looks at value as something intrinsically connected to price. So much so in fact that disposable razors, single use cameras and bic lighters and pens are now common place throughout society because of the phenomenal value they provide for Joe Average.

        While nobody is saying a computer is just like a disposable razor, the principle is still in place, just at a different level. Apple will never get much farther then they have in the computer market if they never find a way to sell a truly decent computer for under a $1000.00. And Apple has proved this themselves. Despite a now long running very powerful ad campaign that puts down PC's and their users Apple has yet to capture a significant portion of the computer market. Its not because their products are crap, their products are generally great. Its not because people don't know about their products, the TV has been flooded with Apple guy commercials, there are iPods and iPhones everywhere, I have them in my house. The reason is obvious. Its price. Hundreds of millions of people cant all be wrong. Apples cost too much.
        Cayble
  • RE: Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

    I'm not a mac fan and I still use windows XP, but you can't deny how important and Computer smart Steve Jobs is after the Ipod, Iphone, Itunes and OSX.

    Fortune's reward is well deserved.


    Congrats on your achievements Steve Jobs.
    kennboy1
  • RE: Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

    and the new tablet will only work with one computer only
    and one itunes only and one iphone only and one itouch
    only .He help to create nice looking items but please
    please open those looking items so everybody can do
    wherever they want with it
    elcubanito
  • RE: Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

    "[i]I would especially appreciate the company confirming or squashing a rumor every now and then, too, so I don?t have to spin my wheels trying to find out whether there?s any real substance to it.[/i]"

    Come on Sam, would you enjoy your job as much if it was easy?
    A none mouse Cow Herd
  • Why stop being successful?

    Apple was in the pits before Jobs returned. Mike Dell was
    even saying they should liquidate and return the cash to
    the shareholders.

    Today Apple could buy Dell Computer with free cash.

    What should Apple open up? Their computers? They are
    pretty open, especially with Parallels.

    Their OS? Sorry - that is the investment they have made
    to sell their computers, and touch/iPhones.

    Buy what you want, just don't assume Apple to change
    their entire direction to suit you.
    Ken_z
  • RE: Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

    Apple products are easy to use; even Microsoft was once reported as using Macs on the help desk because the maintenance overall was cheaper; they simply didn't crash all the time.

    I wish they were cheaper, because if they had been, perhaps healthcare would be fully automated.

    Healthcare workers are not all computer savvy; they're Mac people, not PC people. They get tired of long classes to learn to do tasks that are so much simpler on paper. And of the huge learning curve to do even basic tasks. They get tired of the endless crashes of Windows machines or being kicked off a thin client, just when they were going to save their notes or send orders, then they have to reboot & start all over again. And please don't nag about saving often; with most clinical systems, you can't save it until you're completely finished charting. If you do, you have to go through a usually complex process to go back in and continue your charting - but then it's marked as an edit or an addendum, so legally it would be suspect (looks like tampering with medical records). Not one HIS that I've seen allows an interim save on long forms.

    Because Windows is difficult to use, so are the programs for health information systems that are coded to work with Windows. I believe applications for heatlhcare would be easier to code & easier to use for Macs, & if HIS was put on Macs instead of PCs, there wouldn't be a call by successive presidents for computerized HIS; it would be an accomplished fact.

    I've used different systems & I've taught people how to use them. None of the HIS talk to each other, & they're all prone to crashed. It's time for healthcare programs to be coded for Macs, overall, the expense would be less because of what you'd save in maintenance, classes on how to use it, & healthcare workers having to log back on & document when the documentation should've already been saved. It takes away from YOUR patient care when you're hospitalized. I believe balky computer systems cause medical errors. And I heartily believe Macs are the cure.
    bamyclouse@...
  • RE: Congratulations to Steve Jobs, Fortune's CEO of the Decade

    smkmly,good post!
    homeioy2801-24353667213956635061906213701599