Bill George’s corporate “Dream Team”

FORTUNE — In the Sept. 5 issue of Fortune, we imagined a new kind of fantasy league: one focused on business leaders, where the stats are ruled more by market cap and earnings per share than on-base percentage and earned run averages.

We want to know whom you would pick. But to give you some help, we’ve asked for the picks of three guest team managers: a guru each in management, investing and business news on television. Today, we give you our management wizard, Bill George.

Harvard Business School’s Bill George is a best-selling author and the former CEO of Medtronic. His management strategies have made him both a popular professor and an anchor of many notable boards, including ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs, Novartis and Target. George says his list’s strategy is simple: focus on gathering the “best of the best,” seasoned CEOs who would be playing out of position to get the most out of each skill set. George is confident that, perhaps unlike the Miami Heat, these corporate stars don’t need to go it alone — they can succeed as a stacked team.

CEO — Sam Palmisano, IBM

George: His track record since becoming CEO in 2002 proves my case; in 2003 he was a pioneer in introducing the first “integrated global network,” buttressed by values-centered leadership and collaboration.

COO — Alan Mulally, Ford

George: A great operator and superb team player who gets peak performance with — like Palmisano — values-centered and collaborative leadership.

CFO — David Viniar, Goldman Sachs

George: The only non-CEO on the team, he stands head and shoulders above any other CFO and could be CEO of any other Wall Street bank. He helped Goldman identify the sub-prime mortgage problem in late-2006 and guided Goldman through the 2008 meltdown and its subsequent recovery.

CMO — Howard Schultz, Starbucks 

George: Who else could sell coffee for $5? He created the customer-friendly Starbucks culture, then stepped back into leadership in 2008 and led the company to much higher levels of global success.

Chief Designer — Steve Jobs, Apple

George: His breakthrough designs have taken Apple to the top of four fields — user-friendly computers (iMac), recording devices (iPod), online music (iTunes singlehandedly wiped out the CD industry) and mobile telephone/information devices (iPhone). Then he created a new field for online information (iPads). No one in history has done this.

CIO — Jeff Bezos,

George: He created the greatest customer database that is user-friendly and has propelled the company to its leadership position in online merchandising.

Non-exec chair — Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Carlson Companies

George: Marilyn Carlson Nelson is the ideal non-executive chair. As chair of Mayo Clinic and Carlson Companies boards [Fortune note: Nelson is the former CEO of Carlson] and chair of governance of ExxonMobil’s board, she appreciates the importance of good governance and its relationship to management.

General counsel — Ken Frazier, Merck 

George: As general counsel, he saved Merck from financial disaster by successfully litigating individual cases in the Vioxx recall.

Chief People Officer — Anne Mulcahy, Xerox 

George: She saved Xerox from pending bankruptcy by rebuilding employee trust and passion for restoring the company well beyond its former greatness.

Chief Research — Daniel Vasella, MD, Novartis

George: A medical doctor, he guided Novartis to the top of the health care industry by inventing more new drugs than any pharma or biotech company in the past decade.


Origininally Posted on
August 23, 2011