Apple is Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired” company.

The magazine published its 26th annual list of America’s “Most Admired Companies” yesterday, and Apple seized the number one slot, up six places on its 2007 spot.

“It is a tribute to its CEO that Apple, which ten years ago seemed headed for the slag heap, is Number One on this list,” Fortune writes. “(Steve Job’s) pitch, as he leveraged the success of the iPod, was very simple: Apple products work, and if you buy more than one, they work better.”

To generate the list, Fortune takes the 1,000 largest US companies which it splits into industry groups to create a top ten short list by industry. Researchers then survey a wide range of business executives in order to assess the winners by a range of criteria.

Apple won most praise for its innovation, management and service/product quality. Apple’s lowest-scoring category was in social responsibility.

The top 20 list is culled from the responses submitted by 3,721 executives, directors and security analysts who had responded to the surveys to select the ten companies they admired the most.