Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been dubbed “Mr incredible” in winning the coverted role as The Sunday Times Business Person of 2004. The Sunday Times is the largest-selling Sunday newspaper in the UK. The paper claims that Jobs’ success with the iPod and Pixar films has transformed two industries.

“It is not often that a company boss gets to bathe in the success of a product that is a smash hit with consumers. It is rarer still for that product to be genuinely important, transforming not just the company that designed it but the face of an industry,” says the newspaper.

“It is even more remarkable for one chief executive to enjoy this level of success, not at one company, but at two quite different businesses in the same year. And to accomplish all this while undergoing treatment for cancer – well, that’s just incredible.”

Key player

Jobs, 49, is chief executive of Apple Computer and Pixar Animation Studios. The Sunday Times says that his “power in the entertainment industry made him a key player in another of the biggest business stories of the year – the attempt to unseat Michael Eisner as chief executive of Walt Disney.”

Jobs’ decision in January to terminate discussions to renew Pixar’s distribution deal with Disney was the catalyst for Eisner’s bruising battle with his shareholders.

Jobs won despite other strong contenders, including Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

“In the end, there could be only one winner, and it had to be Jobs,” stated the national newspaper.

The paper – pointing out the iPod’s ‘halo’ effect in stimulating iMac G5 sales – notes that the transformation has been fully recognized in Apple’s share price, which has more than tripled from $21 at the start of the year, and closed last week at $64. The company has been the best performer in the S&P 500 index this year.