GameStop (GME) CEO Paul Raines has fielded his own expert executive dream team for the
Fortune Fantasy Sports Executive League
. Reader team-creation closes Aug. 9; scoring depends, in part, on how closely the player’s picks match those of experts like Raines.
Paul Raines: I thought about the qualities I look for in business leaders and in teams: a passion for innovation and driving a high rate of change [and] an aligned team with a high level of trust that acts with velocity.
Are you making people around you successful? The job of a leader is to identify gaps, develop their team and elevate their confidence. Do you have a high level of intellectual curiosity? Running a business is all about constantly reinventing your skill set. There is no finish line in any business, and it’s up to you to find new opportunities.
Are you using your own products? It’s not good enough to delegate to the marketing group the focus group data. At GameStop, our senior team uses all the tablets and phones we sell, as well as getting together monthly to play new video games. (My budget is four hours per week for video games at home!)
Are you accountable to the broader community of customers, employees, and investors? Good executives understand that we are stewards of an economic enterprise that supports individuals and their families.
Considering all those things, for my CEO I chose Muhtar Kent. As an Atlanta native, I grew up loving Coke (ko), the Braves, and Georgia Tech football. At GameStop, we have watched Muhtar aggressively embrace changing trends on health and activate those trends with bold acquisitions. At the same time, they operate globally, respecting local culture, yet maintaining an integrated message.
At COO, Ralph de la Vega. Being a part of the technology space, we see the rapid demand for connectivity growing every day. Ralph has been at the heart of the mobile industry … from his days at Bellsouth and Cingular and now at AT&T Mobility (T). Having served on a charitable board with him, I know he is the kind of business leader whose appetite for helping others is as large as his strategic mind. I’d have to give an honorable mention to Carol Tomé too. I worked alongside her for many years as EVP of Operations at Home Depot (hd). She has tremendous loyalty to the culture, yet balances that with an ability to drive change. She also has a massive work ethic. She is the real deal.
At CFO I’d want Troy Alstead. Starbucks (sbux) is the kind of company that maintains a global footprint that even surpasses GameStop’s, executing locally with surprising consistency. We are also following their diversification strategy that puts the consumer at the heart of driving change.
For CMO, A-B InBev’s (bud) Miguel Patricio. You have to look at what they have done and admire the integration of all those local brands. As a loyal customer, I love Leffe and Hoegaarden.
In the CIO slot, Ben Fried of Google (goog). As distributors of Google tablets and Android devices, we see the broad platforms Google is building. The search technology is ubiquitous and creates personal relationships with consumers.
For a designer/engineer, Franz von Holzhausen from Tesla (tsla). Electric cars are growing dramatically, and we recently installed charging stations at our offices in Dallas. Although I drive a Fiat 500, my next car is likely to be electric. The design of the Tesla is magnificent.
At non-executive chairman, I’m going with A.G. Lafley of P&G (pg). I have followed the return of Lafley and admire how he is taking P&G back to basics. The primary role of the CEO is to align the greater community and organization around change, and he has done a great job of that so far.
My entrepreneur in residence is Caterina Fake. Through our Digital Ventures group, we have met with hundreds of VC-backed technology startups. Caterina has demonstrated the business perspective to take an idea from concept to profitability — not a very common trait.
And my utility player would have to be Marc Andreessen. Andreessen Horowitz is one of the most influential groups in Silicon Valley. Their ability to spot innovative tech and support startups through exit is legendary. We’ve seen it play out a few times, and I recognize their skill in both the gaming and technology space.