Forbes has published its list of America’s Most Fascinating Tycoons, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs made the list. Jobs joins other notable movers and shakers in business and industry that Forbes calls “the irresistible rich” — business magnates that, for various reasons, have developed a cult of celebrity.
The list was calculated by tallying the celebrity tycoons’ respective television and radio mentions, press clips, Web hits and books written about them that are currently in print. Various categories were weighted differently depending on what the judges thought were of relative importance.
Jobs shares the limelight with other such luminaries as Bill Gates (who tops the list), Steven Spielberg, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, Ted Turner, Larry Ellison, Donald Trump and others. In fact, Jobs along with Gates, Ellison and Ross Perot are the only technology bosses on the list, and Perot’s mention is more because of his political aspirations than of his business acumen. Most of the others that made up this year’s 15 come from entertainment and media, finance and industry.
Forbes called Jobs “an alternate take on Bill Gates.” While both are credited as co-founders of the modern computer era, Forbes contrasts Gates’ “nerdish programmer turned corporate Machiavelli” to Jobs’ “tortured artiste who creates ‘insanely great’ products like the iPod.” The article said Jobs’ public perception is a cross between George Lucas and Steven Spielberg (also both on the list) who is seen as a savvy businessman and a creative genius.