The King of CES picks a tech-heavy Exec Dream Team

July 9, 2012, 2:49 PM UTC

Gary Shapiro is president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, the group that, among other things, puts on the International CES trade show. He’s also the author of the 2011 book The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream. The CEA represents more than 2,000 tech and electronics companies and, as CEO of the group, Shapiro interacts with the top executives of some of the world’s largest and most influential companies. His experiences — plus the task of putting on the continent’s largest trade show — make Shapiro an ideal expert for the
Fortune Fantasy Sports Executive League
(Anyone can play, and scoring depends, in part, on how closely the player’s picks match those of experts like Shapiro.) Shapiro shared some of the names on his team (and his runners up) with Fortune’s Stephanie N. Mehta.

For non-exec chairman — which I think is a really important role — I picked Jim Sinegal of Costco (COST). He’s led the organization with a simple and consistent vision and hasn’t veered from it. I almost went with Anne Mulcahy, the former Xerox (XRX) chair. She picked a great CEO, she nurtured her successor and she has great emotional intelligence.

MORE: Field your very own Fortune Fantasy Executive Dream Team

For chief strategist I went with Paul Otellini of Intel (INTC). Everyone thinks Intel succeeds because they have great product but they also have a phenomenal long-term view of the world. I sat next to Paul a few years ago in the midst of the financial calamity and he was saying, “What an opportunity! Everyone is cutting R&D and we’re going to be doubling down.” He kept his head down and saw opportunity and I think it is paying off for him. The other executive I respect is Zhang Ruimin. I’ve watched Haier grow. He’s seeing gaps and filling them; Haier is one of the model Chinese companies.

Click to choose your own Executive Dream Team.

CEO is tough because I know so many of them [the CEOs on the Dream Team roster]. I picked Meg Whitman. I know everyone is waiting to see what happens at HP (HPQ). I respect that she was willing to throw her hat in the public ring (Whitman lost the California governor’s race in 2010 to Jerry Brown). Once you have run for public office, you are battle-scarred. I’m a big believer that a loss is a learning experience. I know her and I’m so impressed with her.

For COO my first choice is Ralph de la Vega of AT&T (T). He has a vision for AT&T Mobility and he’s executing on it. I’m not sure what his role was in AT&T’s failed acquisition of T-Mobile, but AT&T is a company that is continuing to grow and execute well.

For CMO, I really wanted David Steel (SVP, North America strategic marketing of Samsung Electronics) but he wasn’t one of the choices. I went with Beth Comstock. I’ve know her for years and I’ve always been impressed with her vision and her steadiness. She’s doing a great job at GE (GE).

For designer, it’s Jony Ive. I mean, how could you not? He’s the guy at Apple (AAPL) and the products are phenomenal and they change the world. I almost went with Dean Kamen, though, because he’s doing water filtration and saving lives and he has zillions of patents. He’s a thinking designer who is a very close second in my view.