Apple CEO Tim Cook and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer are the two techiest candidates for the 2012 Time Person of the Year honor that will be announced this Wednesday. They also have competition from a couple of non-persons: the Higgs boson (or "God") particle of Large Hadron Collider fame and the Mars Rover.
The award does have a history of honoring techies, including most recently in 2012, when Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was recognized. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos won in 1999 and Intel's Andy Grove took home the prize two years earlier.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook
Famously, the Computer won in 1982, marking the first time a person or people weren't named.
2011 was the year of The Protester, according to Time; some thought Steve Jobs might get the nod during that year when he died. Given that he wasn't named then or earlier, it's hard to believe Tim Cook will win. The blurb on Cook reads in part:
"In his first full year as CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, 52, presided over the release of the new iPad, the iPad Mini, the iPhone 5 and the Retina-screen MacBook Pro -- each one welcome proof that even in the post-Steve Jobs era, Apple still makes the tech industry's most polished and appealing gadgets."
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer
As for Mayer, the former Google executive, Time writes in part: "When Yahoo announced in July that it had hired 37-year-old Marissa Mayer as its new CEO, you could practically feel the double takes happening all over Silicon Valley. Nobody thought the troubled Web company could snare an executive as well respected as Mayer, Google's 20th employee and a key contributor to its success."
Readers got to vote for their picks among 40 candidates through Dec. 12 and Time will make its announcement of a winner on Dec. 19. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un easily won the reader poll. In addition to techies, candidates include Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Olympian Gabrielle Douglas, musician Psy and both Bill and Hillary Clinton.