Tim Cook and Walter Isaacson Named to TIME's List of 100 Most Influential People

time 2012 influential coverTIME magazine today released its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and two of the selections have close ties to Apple: CEO Tim Cook and Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson.

Each selection is accompanied by an essay by another prominent personality or close associate outlining why the person qualifies for inclusion in the list. The essay on Cook is written by former vice president Al Gore, who has served on Apple's board of directors since 2003.

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.

Isaacson, a former editor of TIME, is profiled by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who points to his trio of biographies covering Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs for their impact on understanding key figures in history.

This is influence of the best species, educating us while demonstrating the continued fascination of the seriously examined life, rendered by Isaacson with the objectivity of a true historian and the flair of a born storyteller. But what most separates Isaacson, 59, from would-be peers is his wisdom in choosing subjects whose individual talents have affected all our lives.

TIME's 2012 list of the world's most influential people is the magazine's cover story for next week's issue and highlights representatives in five different categories: breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders, and icons.

Top Rated Comments

gri Avatar
132 months ago
Cook - ok; but Isaacson? Nothing against him but where does he influence the world by writing bios? These are on important people, granted, but still. Zuckerberg would be more important as Facebook clearly changed things, also Twitter (and I have no account with either).
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dreyrugr Avatar
132 months ago
Time's lists are the result of uncontrolled, unscientific online polling of a self selecting population.

They are entirely meaningless.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imageWIS Avatar
132 months ago
Cook - ok; but Isaacson? Nothing against him but where does he influence the world by writing bios? These are on important people, granted, but still. Zuckerman would be more important as Facebook clearly changed things, also Twitter (and I have no account with either)

It's Zuckerberg.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdowns Avatar
132 months ago
Pardon me but I don't want to live in a world where Rihanna makes a 100 Most Influential People list.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
imageWIS Avatar
132 months ago
Walter Isaacson? Really??
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Trauma1 Avatar
132 months ago
I just don't see how Tim Cook has been that influential. I know he has stepped in as CEO previously, but he's still new to the role.
But he was COO for many, many years.

His specialty is supply chain management. It was Cook that said "inventory is fundamentally evil". It was Cook that slashed inventory levels down to six days, instead of months.

A lot of the successful operational strategies the company has been using fell under Cook's domain, not Jobs.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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