The title was bestowed on Jobs despite his absence thanks to a vote of the attending media at this week's conference. It was a fitting close for the show, where Apple was not officially present, yet talk of the iPhone was said to remain a hot topic in the face of major competing announcements.
The GSMA Awards event was hosted by writer, actor, and self-proclaimed Apple fan Stephen Fry. Fry was also present at last month's iPad unveiling in San Francisco, where the humorist came away impressed with Apple's new device.
Winners were announced in 19 categories which included awards titled "Best Contribution to Social and Economic Development," the "Green Mobile Awards," "Mobile Innovation," and "Mobile Entertainment." Apple competitor Research in Motion took home "Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service" for its BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0, while HTC won "Best Mobile Handset or Device" for its Android-powered HTC Hero.
"A remarkable 500 entries from across the global mobile ecosystem were submitted this year, all of an extremely high calibre, and the winners should be incredibly proud of their achievements," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. "The demand for new ways to use mobile technology continues to evolve and accelerate at a breathtaking speed, and it is genuinely inspiring to see such inventive thinking and exciting ideas showcased at Mobile World Congress."
Last year, Jobs was named "CEO of the Decade" by Fortune, for making Apple the most valuable company in Silicon Valley. Recognition for Jobs' performance came despite the fact that he was absent from work for health reasons in the first half of 2009.
This week's Mobile World Congress saw the introduction of a number of products that hope to take on Apple's iPhone. The most high-profile introduction was Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 Series, a new multitouch-capable operating system from Apple's rival to the north.