Fortune magazine names Apple’s Steve Jobs CEO of the decade

November 5, 2009, 2:54 PM UTC

Runners-up include Gates, Buffett, Page, Brin, Winfrey, Stewart and — wait for it —  Madoff

Photo: Time Inc.

Steve Jobs is the CEO of the decade, according to the new issue of Fortune magazine.

“Jobs is back,” writes Adam Lashinsky in the cover story published Thursday. “It’s as if his signature ‘one more thing’ line now applies to him as well. After a six-month leave of absence in the early part of this year, during which he received a liver transplant, he is once again commanding a 34,000-strong corporate army that is as powerful, awe-inspiring, creative, secretive, bullying, arrogant — and yes, profitable — as at any time since he and his chum Steve Wozniak founded Apple (AAPL) in 1976.”

The piece includes the revelation that Jobs twice considered taking Apple private, once in a leveraged buyout with Silver Lake Partners and once a few years earlier with financing lined up by his old friend Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle (ORCL).

Sure to stir controversy is Fortune’s provocative list of also rans, which includes, along with some obvious contenders (Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, for example), two convicted felons: Martha Stewart and Bernie Madoff. (which carries this blog) has put together an elaborate online editorial package that includes excerpts from Lashinsky’s story, a video of him explaining the choice, praises of Jobs from the rich and famous, celebrities’ favorite iPhones apps, an interactive timeline, rarely seen photographs and more. The entry point is here.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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