Tim Cook shortlisted for Time’s Person of the Year

Apple event 20120307 (iPAd 3 unveiling, Tim Cook, colorful background, Apple logo)

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook is one of the frontrunners for Time’s 2012 Person of the Year. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, 37, the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company, is another prominent person who also made the cut, along with South Korea’s pop sensation Psy, the three scientists who discovered the Higgs Boson particle and Italian physicist Fabiola Giannati who leads the Atlas experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. Heck, even the Higgs Boson particle itself is on Time’s list…

Each year, Time editors get to pick one person for his or her single greatest impact during the past year. This year’s winner will be announced December 19 and will appear on the cover of the Time magazine, issue date December 31, 2012, on sale December 21.

According to Time, online voters have already made their pick for this year’s top newsmaker: North Korea’s infamous leader Kim Jong Un, who scored more than 5.6 million online votes.

While TIME’s editors have the final say and don’t make their selection based on the poll results, “it’s always interesting to see where some of our preferred candidates end up,” says TIME executive editor Radhika Jones.

Other finalists in the reader poll included comedian Jon Stewart, Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas, Burmese leaders Aung San Suu Kyi and Thein Sein and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The magazine weighs in on Cook’s impact in 2012:

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.

Cook also showed repeatedly that he isn’t simply channeling Jobs. He personally apologized for iOS 6’s troublesome new Maps app and removed longtime mobile-software chief Scott Forstall in a surprise executive shake-up.

And although some of the company’s quarterly results have missed analyst estimates, Apple has still repeatedly broken its own records for revenue and profit — and it remains the planet’s most valuable company in terms of market cap.

You can give Cook some love here.

Note that voting closes today at 11:59pm.

And here are Time’s remarks concerning the Gangnam Style creator.

How many times have you watched it? Korean rapper Psy’s slick, wickedly satirical video “Gangnam Style” broke all kinds of sound barriers this year, clocking more than 820 million YouTube views — and counting.

The über-ambitious Seoul music industry watched in amazement as the eccentric 34-year-old hip-hop artist, gleefully skewering the music machine that made him, managed to go where no Korean performer had gone before.

The rest of us just danced. We’ll have Psy to thank on the inevitable day when we do the horse dance for our grandkids at a wedding. And they’ll have Psy to thank for the great Korean bands on whatever device they’ll be using to listen to music.

He did come out of nowhere and took the Interwebs by storm, didn’t he?