8. Tim Cook
8. Tim Cook
CEO, Apple

Until Oct. 5, Tim Cook had spent his Apple career toiling in the shadow of Steve Jobs. With Jobs now gone, Cook must show investors that he's more than just an able manager with special talent for running a global high-tech supply chain. Cook inherits the world's most valuable technology company. Apple has huge growth opportunities in the smartphone market, and its recent iCloud launch lays down an impressive marker in web-based data-hosting for the consumer market.


By Richard McGill Murphy, contributor - Last updated November 17 2011: 5:58 PM ET