Frank Shaw | Influence 100


Frank X. Shaw

Corporate Vice President, Communications

In the six years that Shaw has been at the helm of communications at Microsoft, he’s seen tremendous change. Most recently the tech behemoth began a new era under CEO Satya Nadella. Amid considerable transformation, Shaw’s institutional PR insight remains unparalleled.

Before joining in 2009, Shaw led the Microsoft team at Waggener Edstrom for nearly two decades. This means Shaw has spent nearly his entire career learning every facet of Microsoft’s business: he handled all PR related to Windows, Windows Server, developer tools and evangelism, in 2001 he helped launch Windows XP in one of the most-covered product PR events of the year. In addition to his product work, he served as one of the leads on the Microsoft corporate team and worked closely with the Microsoft division responsible for customer and partner relationships.  

In his current role, Shaw is responsible for defining and managing Microsoft's communications strategies worldwide, including planning and execution, product PR, consumer marketing, media relations, executive communications, employee communications and global agency management. 

He was also one of the early PR pros to participate in the blogosphere as author of “Glass House” that provides some pontification on the state of communications and media. Shaw served in the US Marine Corps for five years as a public affairs officer.   

What do you consider your career highlight?
I'm not done yet. ;)

What is the best advice you ever received?
Always carry your own pack.

What is your favorite PR campaign?
I really like the way Red Bull integrates PR/Social/Experiential.

What do you enjoy most about working in PR?
The ability to think broadly and creatively about the challenges and opportunities the company faces, and come up with ideas to address.

What was your biggest career break?
I moved from an agency doing business to business and crisis communications to one focused on high tech, even though I didn't have high tech experience per se -- I was a bit of a geek and loved it, and that gave me the change to really leap in.

Who was your mentor and why?
Col. Stuart Wagner, who taught me about leadership, persistence, and the value of making mistakes.

Who inspires you?
The crazy engineers who are making science fiction science fact faster than writers can write more fiction!

What are your favorite media, offline and online?
I'm too much of an omnivore to have a favorite. I get three print newspapers each day, plus 15 magazines regularly delivered to the house, and am voracious online -- techmeme and hacker news point me to new sources all the time. Addicted to Quack for all things related to the Oregon Ducks.

What is your favorite gadget?
My Lumia 1520.

In one sentence, sell a career in communications to a new graduate.
Learn new things, translate ideas into action, have high impact.

What is your favorite city for business travel?
New York City