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Friday, July 09, 2010, 07:05 am PT (10:05 am ET)

Fortune names Apple's Steve Jobs, Jony Ive smartest in tech

Fortune magazine has compiled a list of what it believes are the smartest people in the technology industry, and topping the list of CEOs is Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, while designer Jony Ive was named smartest designer.

The magazine credited Jobs with bringing Apple from the brink of bankruptcy when he returned in 1997 to great heights. This year, Apple's market cap surpassed Microsoft's, making it the most valuable technology company in the world.

Fortune credited Jobs with reinventing music through iTunes, elevating animated films through Pixar, changing smartphones with the iPhone, and redefining the portable computing space with the iPad.

"Rocking one industry could be luck, but upending four? That's smart," the magazine wrote.

"He is a visionary, a micromanager, and a showman who creates such anticipation around new products that their releases are veritable holidays," author Jessi Hempel wrote. "And Jobs is a pop culture icon like no other business executive: An episode of The Simpsons a few years ago featured a Jobs-like character named Steve Mobs."

Fortune


"His dictator-like control can cause havoc for partners: Jobs, 55, has decided, for example, that Apple products won't support Adobe Flash, the code most video-heavy websites depend on, leading designers to switch to new tools. But Jobs' vision is also what gives these devices their elegance, causing consumers' hearts to flutter."

And the magazine also named Apple's 43-year-old Ive the smartest designer in tech, crediting him with setting the course for design throughout the tech industry. Ive is Apple's senior vice president of industrial design, and crated the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

"With the launch of his first product, the iMac G3, Ive turned the utilitarian gray desktop computer into a translucent, gumdrop-shaped fashion statement," Hempel wrote.

Jobs finished ahead of Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, while Ive beat out Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of such beloved game franchises as Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong.

Last November, Fortune also gave Jobs the title "CEO of the Decade." The magazine lauded him for making Apple a groundbreaking technology leader and the most valuable company in Silicon Valley.