Our Executive Dream Team

Our 2012 squad isn't just a collection of all-stars. They're also team players.

The starting lineup
The starting lineup
Business is increasingly a team sport: Consider that the number of positions reporting directly to the CEO at Fortune 500 companies has doubled in the past 20 years, to 9.8 on average, reports Julie Wulf of the Harvard Business School. That top team is now far more heavily weighted toward functional specialists -- marketers, technologists, HR chiefs, designers -- and less toward general managers of business units. In other words: a real team.

For the second year in a row, Fortune's editors pondered the question, What would the ultimate executive suite look like? (We also asked our readers to field their own dream teams in an online contest.) We wanted a team of really excellent performers, the tops in their professions, but we also factored in chemistry and sportsmanship. So while Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was the reader favorite for chief strategist because of his acquisition prowess, Fortune thought he was too much of a lone wolf to sit on our squad.

Our team is meant to be nine knockout players who would form one staggeringly great unit. Fitting all those pieces together is a lot harder than just choosing nine all-stars. But it's a skill that all businesses are going to need.

--Geoff Colvin

@FortuneMagazine - Last updated July 26 2012: 5:38 AM ET
Join the Conversation
Your fantasy Dream Team

We invited readers to draft their own roster, and asked management experts and sitting CEOs to weigh in too. Here are the results of our first online fantasy game.

Most Popular

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.