By Khurram Aziz | Dec 19, 2012 01:27 PM EST
Tim Cook is one of four runner-ups in Time's 2012 Person of the Year shortlist.
The Apple CEO is named alongside Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot in the face by the Taleban; Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsi; and Fabiola Gianotti, who was involved in the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle.
"He inherited the most valuable company in the world from one of the greatest innovators in history," Time says of Cook's nomination. "In 2012 he made Apple his own."
Cook took over Apple after the death of Steve Jobs last year and has sought to continue his legacy in leading the field of consumer electronics. Under Cook's leadership, the Cupertino company released the iPhone 5, the iPad 4 and the iPad Mini.
"Some, myself included, wondered whether Apple was even a viable company without Jobs," wrote Lev Grossman of Time magazine. "Since then Cook has gone about his business apparently unintimidated by his role as successor to one of the greatest innovators in history. Cook's record hasn't been flawless, but he has presided in a masterly way over both a thorough, systematic upgrading of each of the company's major product lines and a run-up in the company's financial fortunes that can only be described as historic."
At the time of Jobs' death, Apple was worth $351 billion. Today, its market capitalisation stands at $488 billion, and Time recognises Cook as the man that has helped to grow the company.
However, things aren't as rosy as they seem. Once a leader in the field of smartphones and tablets, Apple today lags behind its great South Korean rival Samsung and has seen its share price drop significantly in recent months.
Bloomberg reported recently that shares in Apple are at their lowest since February this year, and much of that slowdown in growth is due to increasing competition as well as a lack of innovation from Apple.
In November, the Wall St Cheat Sheet reported a research note from Global Equities Research's Trip Chowdhry who said innovation at Apple was "sputtering."
"Why is that Apple, the company that brought touch to phones and tablets, stopped just there and did not bring touch to notebooks and iMacs? Why is it that Apple brought high-resolution screens to some MacBooks and not to all devices? High-resolution screens are a commodity today," wrote Chowdhry.
Time, which has been going for almost 90 years, named US president Barack Obama, fresh from his electoral victory, as Person of the Year.