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Obama's CEO: Jim Messina Has a President to Sell

What would happen if you took the collective wisdom of Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, Steven Spielberg, and Anna Wintour and poured it into one campaign manager’s head? Barack Obama will find out in November
Obama's CEO: Jim Messina Has a President to Sell
Benioff: Toru Yamanaka/AFP/Getty Images; Wintour: Charles Eshelman/Getty Images; Reed: Dave Rentauskas; Messina: Charles Rex Arbogast/AP Photo; Schmidt: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Spielberg: Jordan Strauss/PGA/Getty Images; Jobs: Jon Furniss/Wireimage

The day after Jim Messina quit his job as White House deputy chief of staff last January, he caught a plane to Los Angeles, paid a brief visit to his girlfriend, and then commenced what may be the highest-wattage crash course in executive management ever undertaken. He was about to begin a new job as Barack Obama’s campaign manager, and being a diligent student with access to some very smart people, he arranged a rolling series of personal seminars with the CEOs and senior executives of companies that included Apple, Facebook, Zynga, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and DreamWorks. “I went around the country for literally a month of my life interviewing these companies and just talking about organizational growth, emerging technologies, marketing,” he says at Obama’s campaign headquarters in Chicago.

Charles Dharapak/AP Photo