Fortune Fantasy League

Let the games begin: Fortune's 'fantasy league' returns

July 22, 2013: 9:00 AM ET

Improved interactive tool lets readers pick their dream executive team. 

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FORTUNE – Corporate management has never been more of a team endeavor. Talk to almost any large-company CEO about technology, for example, and he or she will tell you that a company's chief information officer needs to worry less about deploying PCs and smartphones, and spend more time working with the top marketing officer, sales executives, division heads, and others to figure out how to use technology to build better products or improve customer service.

Such examples abound in the C-Suite: General counsels must collaborate with CFOs, CEOs need to partner with human resources executives to build workforces for the future. Increasingly, top management teams aren't simply a collection of superior individual performers -- they are groups of executives who can work together to innovate or solve problems.

What combination of all-star executives would you pick to run a company you work for, invest in, or buy from? Fortune has developed the Fortune Fantasy Sports Executive League, a fantasy sports-inspired tool that lets readers pick their dream C-Suites from some 90 of the world's top executives in nine different corporate functions.

The fantasy game culminates with Fortune's annual Executive Dream Team feature, in which the editors engage in a similar exercise. We try to figure out which corporate leaders could come together, regardless of industry background, age, or nationality, to build a terrific company in today's fast-paced, technically complex, globally competitive environment.

MORE: Our Executive Dream Team

Fortune will announce its 2013 roster on August 15.

Under the rules of the Fortune league, the participants will earn points based partly on how closely their teams match Fortune's 2013 Executive Dream Team. Participants also earn points based on how closely their teams match the broader voting population, and how they stack up against the picks selected by experts, such as management professors, top executives, headhunters, and other folks who spend a lot of time thinking about leadership. We'll periodically publish interviews with those experts to explain the logic behind their picks. Last year Havas CEO David Jones fielded a team dominated by women, while consultant Mary Civiello created a roster based on executives who are excellent communicators.

This is the second year of the Fortune league, and we made some changes and improvements from last year. We swapped out the "Chief Strategist" category for "Entrepreneur in Residence," a title that doesn't exist at most corporations but nonetheless captures the rising trend of "acquihires," whereby a company will buy an upstart to acquire its hard-to-find talent and inject some entrepreneurial thinking into an organization.

We also retired some jerseys this year. Amazon (AMZN) CEO Jeff Bezos and Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) CEO Warren Buffett, Facebook (FB) COO Sheryl Sandberg, Google (GOOG) CFO Patrick Pichette, and others who dominated the voting last year are now in the Hall of Fame to make way for some fresh faces.

MORE: Fantasy Executive League: Fan faves

We are making it easier to share picks on social media with friends, and the tool will award an extra point to participants who share their rosters. Hard-core leaguers can tweet about their picks and pans -- and follow all the action -- via #FortuneLeague.

And if all that weren't enough reason to play, during the league "season" (July 22-Aug. 9) Fortune on Monday through Thursday will bestow a $25 gift card to the team with the best name. Each Friday the team leading in the standings will get a $25 gift card.

Of course, the real reason to play in the Fortune fantasy league is the same reason to play traditional fantasy sports -- for love of the game.

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