CRN has published its inaugural innovators from within IT list, which features two key Apple tech gurus.

Apple's senior VP hardware engineering Jon Rubinstein and chief software technology officer Avie Tevanian (illustrated) both feature in the top 25.

Of Tevanian's team, CRN says: "It has laid a foundation for unprecedented future innovation in software both inside and outside the OS."

Other names on the innovators list include Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page; Intel chief technology officer Pat Gelsinger; Handspring co-founder and original PalmPilot inventor Jeff Hawkins; and Macromedia chief software architect Kevin Lynch.

Nineteen more innovators from the IT industry are also recognized by the report, which says they, "were presented with a technical or business challenge for which there was no existing solution."

"The difference between these individuals and the rest of us is they possessed the technical talent and drive to realize their vision, either on their own or as the leader of a team," CRN said.