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How Innovative Leaders Maintain Their Edge

This issue marks our second year collaborating with Forbes to rank the world’s most innovative companies based upon an innovation premium. Since last year’s inaugural list was published, we’re often asked: “Why are some companies able to create and sustain a high innovation premium while others don’t?” While still in the early stages of an in-depth analysis of high- versus low-innovation premium companies, our initial results show at least three key things that the innovative companies do to create and sustain an innovation premium.  How well companies leverage people, process, and philosophies (what we call the 3Ps) differentiates the best in class from the next in class when it comes to keeping innovation alive and delivering an innovation premium year after year. Read more

Shameel Joosub – Vodacom’s New CEO

By Yaseen Theba

The Vodacom Group Board announced this month that Shameel Joosub will succeed Pieter Uys as Vodacom Group CEO. Uys decided at the end of March this year to step down following 20 years with the company, including four years as CEO. Joosub’s appointment will take effect from 1 September this year.

Pieter Uys said, “I have had a fantastic two decades with Vodacom and will cherish many happy memories. I’m hugely proud of our people: together, we have created a powerful and trusted brand at the center of our customers’ daily lives. It’s now time for change, and I will leave Vodacom confident that the business will prosper under Shameel’s leadership.” Read more

First Authorized Steve Jobs biography coming next year

Simon & Schuster has just announced Walter Isaacson’s “iSteve: The Book of Jobs” will be published in early-2012, making it the first authorized biography of our beloved CEO. Isaacson has authored bios of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Frankin and Henry Kissinger, so Steve will be in good company.

FORTUNE has a great portrait of Isaacson, “the man who won Steve Jobs’ trust.” What a résumé that guy has.

35 Years & $317 Billion Later, Apple Intends To Dominate a Post-PC World

On April 1, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne established a small company to sell personal computer kits hand-built by Wozniak. That company, as you probably know, was Apple Computer.

Thirty-five years later, Apple is now the most valuable technology company in the world. Its market capitalization exceeds $317 billion, trumping longtime rival Microsoft by more than $100 billion. And Apple’s iconic products sit on the desks and in the pockets of millions of people across the world. Read more

Steve Jobs Was First Choice For Google’s CEO

Back in 2000, when Google was just getting started, its venture capital backers insisted the fledling company find an experieced CEO to provide ‘adult supervision.’

Venture capitalist John Doerr arranged for Google’s young co-founders to meet with half-a-dozen Silicon Valley CEOs in an attempt to get the process started. Larry Page and Sergey Brin met with Intel’s Andy Grove, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and several others.

At the end of the tour, they were ready to hire a CEO but there was a problem, according to Wired senior writer Steven Levy:

… they would only consider one person: Steve Jobs. Read more

Twitter Suspends @ceoSteveJobs – His Last Tweets

It’s a day of conflicting emotions. On one hand, Apple will today announce the iPad 2. On the other, Twitter has suspended the account of @ceoSteveJobs.

For those that don’t know, @ceoSteveJobs was a parody account that tweeted from the perspective of Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The account had more than 450,000 followers at the time of suspension and it’s not know if the account will be reactivated. Read more

Steve Jobs Almost Received An Honourary Knighthood

Steve Jobs almost joined such Neo-Arthurian luminaries as Sir Elton John, Sir Robert of Hope and Dame Kylie Minogue, according to a former Labour Party politician, who says that the Apple CEO was almost offered a knighthood back in 2009 for his services to technology.

According to the former senior British MP, although the argument for Jobs’ knighthood was compelling, the Apple boss’ impolitic inscrutability ultimately cut him out of getting the war.

Although the suggestions for knighthood reached the final stages of approval, at the end of the day, Steve Jobs was irrefutably blocked by Downing Street because Jobs had once refused to attend an annual Labour conference, which would have been seen as a big political win for then-current Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Why was Jobs considered?

Apple has been the only major global company to create stunning consumer products because it has always taken design as the key component of everything it has produced. No other CEO has consistently shown such a commitment.

If it hadn’t been blocked, Jobs still wouldn’t be the first American to be a British Knight, or even the first tech magnate: Bill Gates won in 2005. However, due to his lack of British citizenship, he still wouldn’t be allowed to go around, belligerently demanding strangers to refer to him as “Sir Steve”.

President Zuma uses Twitter for State of the Nation address

Governments around the world are embracing social media as a way of communicating with their citizens. The role of social media in political campaigning gained much credibility after the US election campaign of 2008, which saw President Obama swept all the way into the White House.

By using the most powerful social media platforms of the day, Twitter and Facebook. governments and political figures are seeking to leverage the platforms to their advantage.

When South African President Jacob Zuma takes the stage for his annual State of the Nation address on the 10th of February, a selection of the country’s tweets will be up there with him. This is according to @presidencyZA, the official Twitter account of the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa. Read more

How Egyptian Protestors Use BlackBerrys in a Tech Blackout

While mobile phone service to much of Egypt was shut off this past weekend, BlackBerry devices quietly continued to work (mostly), offering a crucial portal to the outside world. Will other countries pressure RIM to slam shut the access?

Egyptian protestors have discovered a powerful tool: BlackBerry devices. Stellar encryption appears to have allowed users of the devices to escape (for the most part) the Egyptian government’s crackdown on communications with the outside world.

Shutting down BlackBerrys requires access to an entirely separate set of servers than other mobile units. This loophole indicates a possible motivation for earlier clashes between BlackBerry creators Research in Motion (RIM) and the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia. Read more