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Today in Tech: 5 CEOs Who Impressed Us in 2012…

.. and 5 insightful videos featuring them

 

Tim Cook

Under Tim Cook, Apple continues to stir the same passion among its customers as it did under Steve Jobs. The world’s most valuable company by market cap launched a series of products this year – new iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone 5 and Retina-screen MacBook Pro – all visually beautiful and functionally intuitive, just like they were in Jobs era. When Steve Jobs told Cook “I never want you to ask what I would have done. Just do what’s right,” he probably set a higher standard for his successor. It looks as if Cook will live up to it. Just contrast his apology (for Maps) with Job’s (for Antenna).


In this video Cook fields a range of questions from AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. It’s long, but definitely worth the time.

 

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Larry Page
The Google CEO was not in the spotlight for several months this year – he had lost his voice. He is now back, with his voice and his ambition (We’re still 1 percent to where we should be) intact. Meanwhile, Google constantly made news this year. We will remember at least two of them for years to come. Google Glass, probably one of the best inventions of 2012, and driverless car which completed 300,000 accident free miles in August.


This is from Google Zeitgeist 2012. Page talks about what excites him, how things will be different in the future and what Google is doing about it.

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Marissa Mayer
A friend said I should include the CEO of Yahoo in the list “for inspiring confidence without doing anything significant.” It’s easy to see how Mayer did that. She came to Yahoo! with a stellar reputation. She was one of the earliest employees in Google, and was one of its most intelligent public faces. Ken Auletta, who watched her in Google while working on his book about the company, counts clarity and an acute sense of design among her strengths. “Even when she rejected an idea, as she usually did, she did so in a comforting way that said she welcomed more ideas, more effort, from the young engineer,” he wrote.


Commencement Address at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 2009. Mayer talks about the small events that influenced her thinking.

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N Chandrasekaran
The CEO of TCS exudes confidence while most of his peers show concern – about the state of the industry, the pace of its growth, sustainability of its profits and the increasing complexity in operations. He has also been better at spotting trends and bolder in experimenting with new ideas. We have covered some of that here, here and here.

 

A three minute speech from Forbes India Leadership Awards night. Chandra talks about how social media and mobile is changing the way we live and work.

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Francisco D’Souza
From what we know of Cognizant CEO, he gets as much pleasure winning new customers as he probably got from Cognizant overtaking Infosys earlier this year. Intensely customer focused and very disciplined at following the broad strategy laid out by his predecessors, Francisco has also demonstrated ability to ‘fix stuff before it breaks‘ and take risks.


Francisco’s keynote at a Tibco event. It’s mostly a pitch for the company, but the trends he talks about are worth listening to.

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NS Ramnath
I have been with Forbes India since August 2008. I like writing about ideas, events and people at the intersection of business, society and technology. Prior, I was with Economic Times. I am based in Bangalore. Email: ns.ramnath@gmail.com
 
 
 
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