No. 1 Steve Jobs liver transplant: The most important Apple story over the last year was Steve Jobs taking a temporary leave of absence from Apple, only to return to the helm six months later. No CEO is more closely associated with the company he runs than Steve Jobs. Although Apple was left in the more-than-capable hands of COO Tim Cook, many were concerned when Jobs left. They needn't have been. Jobs returned to his position as CEO in June following a successful liver transplant. Jobs returned to the public eye in early September to introduce a brand new lineup of iPods.