Apple CEO Tim Cook and author Walter Isaacson, famous among Apple fans for his authorized Steve Jobs biography, have made TIME Magazine’s list of The World’s 100 Most Influential People. Cook’s complimentary “report card” was written by former Vice President of the United States and Apple board member Al Gore.
Published today, the list also includes comedian Louis CK, footballer Lionel Messi, and singer Rihanna. Cook’s appearance shows that he’s doing a great job of following in the footsteps of former Apple CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs, who stepped down to make way for Cook back in August 2011.
Gore noted this in his glowing report of Cook, which read:
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.
Cook’s personal discipline, physical regimen and work hours reflect a philosophy summarized in his 2010 Auburn University commencement speech, in which he quoted President Lincoln: “I will prepare, and someday my chance will come.”
Highly ethical and always thoughtful, he projects calmness but can be tough as nails when necessary. Like the great conductor George Szell, Cook knows that his commitment to excellence is inseparable from the incredible ensemble he leads at Apple. Szell was noted for saying, “We begin where others leave off.”
Cook’s chance has come. What a beginning!
Isaacon’s report was written by Madeline Albright, a former U.S. Secretary of State and now the chair of Albright Stonebridge Group. It praised him for writing a trio of “brilliant works about men of genius,” and for “choosing subjects whose individual talents have affected all our lives.”
In addition to his Steve Jobs biography, Isaacson has also written biographies about Benjamin Franklin and Albert Einstein.