24/7 Wall St. has evaluated over 200 CEOs in order to select it CEO of the Year. Six finalists were chose from the list. The measurements were based on company stock performance for the last two years, innovation, financial results, and the quality of the competition that each company faces in its markets. We also took into consideration whether the corporation was operating in an industry with special challenges.
If the choice of CEO of the Year were based only on results any analyst who worshiped at the altar of the obvious would pick Steve Jobs of Apple (AAPL). The consumer electronics company’s stock price is up 160% for the last two years.
In the fiscal year ending September 29, Apple had revenue of $24 billion, up from $19.3 billion the previous year. Net income was $3.5 billion, up from just under $2 billion the year before. Even more astonishing, Apple’s revenue in the 2003 fiscal year was only $6.2 billion while operating income was $57 million.
While the iPod has now been a success for almost five years, Jobs created the iPhone and resurrected the Mac during the last year. Mac unit sales were over seven million in the last fiscal. Apple has taken PC share in a market which includes HP (HPQ) and Dell (DELL). In handsets, the company is up against Nokia (NOK) and Motorola (MOT). Jobs clearly does not care what the size of his competition is.
Based on almost all analyst estimates, Apple will have record sales for Macs, iPods, and iPhones in the quarter ending December 31. The iPhone has been launched in most major countries in Europe and in the US. That leaves the rest of the world, particularly Asia., for adding to the iPhone franchise.
Jobs only big problem now may be what to do with the $15 billion in cash the company has accumulated.
Douglas A. McIntyre is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of Financial World Magazine which began the CEO of the Year Awards in 1981. He is also the former president of Switchboard.