Sarah Palin

Why Steve Jobs will not be Time Magazine's Person of the Year

November 15, 2010: 6:34 AM ET

Hint: It's not because he hasn't done enough to deserve it

Image: Time Inc.

Google's Marissa Mayer thinks Steve Jobs should be Time's Person of the Year (see here). So, apparently, do the nearly 11,000 readers who, as of Monday morning, had voted for Apple's (AAPL) CEO on Time's website.

But readers don't choose the winner. If they did, Recep Tayyip Erdogan would be this year's POY, and I can pretty much guarantee that's not going to happen.

No, this is a decision made by Time's reporters, writers and editors in a series of meetings that get smaller and smaller until finally the managing editor and editor-in-chief sign off on it.

I don't work for Time (Fortune's sister publication) anymore, and I have no inside knowledge about this year's choice, but I've been in enough of those meetings and have worked on enough POY issues (see list below) to have a pretty good sense of how they go.

Steve Jobs may be on the list of candidates the editors are considering, and he may even end up on their "people who mattered" list, but he won't be Time's Person of the Year.

It's not because he hasn't earned it.


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