Apple CEO Tim Cook among eight finalists for Time's 2014 Person of the Year

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Time revealed on Monday that Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook is once again one of its finalists for the magazine's "Person of the Year" award, joining the likes of Alibaba CEO Jack Ma, Russian President Vladmir Putin, pop star Taylor Swift, Ebola caregivers, and protesters in Ferguson, Mo.

Cook is one of eight contenders on Time's "short list" of candidates that were revealed on its blog Monday afternoon. The Apple leader was recognized for not only unveiling a slew of new products in 2014, but also for disclosing his sexuality and becoming the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO.

Time editor Nancy Gibbs discussed the finalists on the Today show on NBC Monday, and noted that the Auburn graduate has helped Apple to become the most valuable company in the world.

"Everyone wondered whether he could live up to Steve Jobs's legacy at Apple of reinventing whole categories regularly," Gibbs said. "With the Apple Watch, we think he stands a good chance of doing that."

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Cook was named a runner up for Time's Person of the Year in 2012, when the magazine credited him for inheriting Apple from the late, legendary Steve Jobs and truly making the company his own. Under the leadership of Cook, Apple's product sales and market value have skyrocketed to new heights, continuing a pace of continued growth few predicted.

In addition to Cook, the Ferguson protesters, Ebola caregivers, Putin, Ma, and Swift, the remaining 2014 Person of the Year finalists are National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Masoud Barzani, the acting president of the Iraqi Kurdish Region since 2005. Readers have picked Indian prime Minister Narendra Modi as their preferred candidate.

Time's selection for person of the year will be announced by Gibbs on Today Wednesday morning.