Jeff George

A rising pharma star's Executive Dream Team

July 6, 2012: 9:27 AM ET

Novartis' Jeff George discusses the logic behind his fantasy executive dream team picks.

FORTUNE -- Jeff George is the global head of Sandoz, the $9 billion generics division of Novartis. The 38-year-old is also a Novartis executive committee member and was No. 9 on Fortune's 40 Under 40 list last year. George's father, Harvard Business School professor and former Medtronic CEO Bill George, is an option in Fortune's Fantasy Sports Executive League game as a utility player. Before joining Novartis, Jeff George was a manager at McKinsey and then ran strategic planning and business development at a division of Gap Inc. His management chops in retail and pharma make him 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 George.)

George shared his team with Fortune's Daniel Roberts, along with the logic behind his picks.

Jeff George: My default plan was picking the best person in each spot, but I did also try to give it a team lens and think about how they'd work together as a team.

The CEO, I debated this one quite a bit. Ultimately, I elected to go with Howard Schultz. While his background is more entrepreneurial than corporate, he's a visionary and a transformational, inspiring leader. And he's put the customer at the center of the whole experience. I also thought he'd be a really good leader; he seems like a guy who can coach an all-star team and get the best out of people.

MORE: Field your very own Fortune Fantasy Executive Dream Team 

Rex Tillerson at Exxon (XOM) was a close second for me, for the massive scale of the company he runs, and because he has a reputation as an outstanding operator. The other guy I considered was Jeff Bezos at Amazon (AMZN), who has exceeded everyone's expectations. By the way, if Alan Mulally from Ford (F) had been an option here, I would have chosen him. More

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