Time Magazine has named Apple CEO Tim Cook one of the most influential people of 2012, and the prose accompanying the listing were written by none other than Apple board member and former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore.
It is difficult to imagine a harder challenge than following the legendary Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Yet Tim Cook, a soft-spoken, genuinely humble and quietly intense son of an Alabama shipyard worker and a homemaker, hasn't missed a single beat.
Fiercely protective of Jobs' legacy and deeply immersed in Apple's culture, Cook, 51, has already led the world's most valuable and innovative company to new heights while implementing major policy changes smoothly and brilliantly.
He has indelibly imprinted his leadership on all areas of Apple — from managing its complex inner workings to identifying and shepherding new "insanely great" technology and design breakthroughs into the product pipeline.
You can read the rest via the link below. Tim Cook had assumed a lot of the functional of a traditional CEO at Apple long before Steve Jobs' passing. As much as Apple is held in the highest of esteem as a design company, Cook is heralded as the man who figured out how to make those designs better and more cost effectively than ever before. As much as Steve Jobs and Jony Ive envisioned revolutionary products, Cook and his team forged a revolutionary production system.
Apple still has to conceive of fantastic new products, but with Cook at the helm, once they do they don't have to worry about building them. Apple may have lost the best conceptual guy in the business, but they still have the best operations guy.
Other prominent technologists on the list included Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg and the always getting richer Marc Andreessen. (No Googlers, Tweeters, or Microsoftians, far as we could tell.)