5 years after his death, Steve Jobs remains among top ‘current’ tech leaders

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Steve Jobs was anything but a bust as CEO.
Steve Jobs is still one of the most revered leaders in tech.
Photo: China News

Put it down to Steve Jobs’ astonishing legacy — or poor reading comprehension — but according to a poll of 700 tech company founders, the late Apple CEO is among the most admired “current” tech leaders.

Despite having died five years ago, Jobs scored fourth place in the poll, following Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

“We asked founders to write in which current tech leader they admire the most and we tallied 125 names,” the poll organizers explain. “The Tesla and SpaceX leader held firm at the top spot (23%), followed by Jeff Bezos (10%), Mark Zuckerberg (6%) and Steve Jobs (5%). The most cited female leader is Sheryl Sandberg, who clocked in at 1% overall, and 5% for female respondents.”

Unfortunately, First Round Capital, which conducted the poll, didn’t ask respondents to justify their opinions. But the fact that Jobs came close to the top of a list featuring 125 names underlines once again just how important he was in shaping Silicon Valley not only during his own life, but through the present day.

Certainly, Jobs’ legacy continues to be felt at Apple. Despite profits that have risen greatly since Tim Cook took over as CEO, Apple continues to rely on product lines introduced during Jobs’ reign at the top — most specifically, the iPhone.

Getting name-checked posthumously on lists like this one is especially significant because tech tends to be a “what have you done for me lately?” industry, where products and innovations are typically forgotten relatively quickly.

Jobs himself once said, “All the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I am 50.”

The fact that he continues to cast a shadow over Silicon Valley is impressive stuff — although, to my mind, it also raises the question of why current execs at Apple aren’t topping this list.

Source: First Round Capital