Guess what, Steve Jobs is the CEO of the decade

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Steve Jobs – owner of Apple, largest shareholder in Disney and now the CEO of the Decade? Well, that is what Fortune Magazine claims; and that might not be farfetched as it sounds. Steve Jobs returned to Apple in the 1990s after leaving Apple in the 1980s and transformed the Cupertino-based company around to become a powerful technology company – heck, their share price is beating Microsoft.

Under Jobs’ helm, Apple is now the number one manufacturer of MP3 players in terms of market share, thanks to the iPod; and market share has grown for the Mac product line. It revolutionised digital distribution with its iTunes store, and now has created a new trend in the phone world – touchscreens – thanks to the iPhone and its successor, the iPhone 3G.

In his life, he also founded Pixar Animation Studios, and partnered with Disney to create several of their biggest 3D animation hits like Finding Nemo, Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Now, after Disney bought the studio to replace its own animation studio, Jobs finds himself as the largest shareholder in the company and part of its board of directors. With that, plus his stake in Apple, he has a net worth of US$5 billion, according to Fortune.

However, in 2009, he stepped down temporarily for six months as he faced a “hormonal imbalance”, and received a liver transplant. He returned in June with much fanfare from the Apple community. But even with him gone, Apple has surely surpassed many companies – including its rivals – to overcome the financial crisis, and his current COO, Tim Cook, is set to be his replacement if he retires.

Fortune’s rationale for giving him this title was that this “past decade in business belongs to Jobs. What makes that simple statement even more remarkable is barely a year ago it seemed likely that any review of his accomplishments would be valedictory. But by deeds and accounts, Jobs is back.”

“In the past 10 years alone he has radically and lucratively reordered three markets – music, movies and mobile telephones – and his impact on his original industry, computing has only grown.”

So congrats to you Steve. Here’s for another ten more years.

Image: whatcounts/Flickr (Creative Commons)

What’s your memory of Apple; and did you think he deserves the title? Discuss below.