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. (See Fortune’s fantasy executive league picks here.)
We want to know whom you would pick. (Pick your own executive Dream Team here.) 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 biz news whiz, Erin Burnett.
Erin Burnett recently rejoined CNN as an anchor of an upcoming news show and as its chief business and economics correspondent. She’s a seasoned business news veteran who’s led shows for CNBC and appeared on numerous other programs and in documentaries. Her strategy? Draft a team with global experience. While each embodies the American ‘can-do’ spirit, all can offer understanding of different cultures, a trait Burnett believes “imperative for business success today.”
CEO — Vikram Pandit, Citigroup (C)
Burnett: Pandit took over what was America’s biggest bank as it teetered on the cliff of failure. He not only turned it around, but also made employees proud to work at Citigroup, something lacking before thanks to multiple, poorly executed mergers. Pandit is a quiet and firm leader who works as hard as anyone at the company and has passion for finishing a job (he took $1 salary while Citi was beholden to Uncle Sam and U.S. taxpayers). And above all this, he’s a leader who allows those around him to shine — and my list has some people who shine.
CFO — Lewis Booth, Ford Motor Co (F)
Burnett: Steered Ford through the financial crisis sans bailout. Enough said.
Non-exec chair — Jim Owens, Caterpillar (CAT)
Burnett: Owens has a Ph.D. in economics and spent his career at Caterpillar [Fortune note: Owens retired from his role as CEO and then Chairman in 2010]. He called an upcoming deep recession before anyone else and that day the Dow registered its first big drop. This was nearly a year before Lehman. He also planned and supported a transition to his Caterpillar successor, CEO Doug Oberhelman, a signal he can lead and work with others.
CMO — John Hayes, American Express (AXP)
Burnett: This is the hardest position for me: modern advertising is in flux and brands like Google and Twitter don’t need it at all. So I am taking a risk on this position and going with John Hayes, CMO of American Express. He turned a commodity item into something that delivers specific, valuable benefits.
Chief Designer — Jonathan Ive, Apple (AAPL)
Burnett: Apple is the obvious choice and in this case, I believe the right one. Its consistent and clean design has defined our age. Apple is, on any given day, the most valuable company in America. Everywhere I travel, children know ‘iPod, iPhone!’ Apple is the physical embodiment of American exceptionalism right now to much of the world.
CIO — John Tracy, Boeing (BA)
Burnett: America’s biggest exporter is a key target for foreign intelligence hacking given its defense contracts and operations around the world. The person who keeps that information safe and enables its workforce to operate globally is the IT person I want on my dream team.
Chief People Officer — Abdulaziz Al Ali, Emirates Group
Burnett: Every Emirates flight has English and up to 14 other languages spoken by professional, customer service dedicated staff. Recruiting globally for motivated, hard-working young men and women who can face clients is what most companies say is their hardest task and Emirates is the only company that’s got that down. They’re the world’s best airline because of it.