Frank X. Shaw | Influence 100

Frank X. Shaw 

Corporate Vice President

When Frank Shaw joined Microsoft in 2009 as its head of communications, it was perhaps one of the most seamless agency to in-house transitions the industry has witnessed. One of the reasons for that, of course, was Shaw’s former role as president of the Microsoft account at WE Communications where he spent most of the first two decades of his career. In essence, this meant Shaw had spent nearly his entire career learning every facet of Microsoft’s business.

This knowledge has been integral in his role as head of global communications, seeing the tech giant through major changes — not only in its management but also in its overall business strategy. And a company that faces as intense scrutiny as Microsoft, this is a formidable endeavor.  

Shaw has been the company’s communications lead through industry-altering acquisitions, ambitious and disastrous product launches, stunning leadership changes (and the tumult that followed). Amid considerable transformation, Shaw’s institutional PR insight remains unparalleled and has yielded considerable benefit to the company —and stands as a notable example of reputational stewardship for the industry-at-large.

Please share a notable career highlight. 
This year at our //Build event for developers we were able to bring together some great demos, technology announcements and videos to tell a great story about intelligence, AI and the idea of conversation as a platform.

What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect about a career in communications/marketing?
Most rewarding is the ability to participate in solving real challenges, seizing big opportunities. Most challenging is the same. :)

What skills/experience will the CCO of the future need that may not be required today?
Increasingly, technology mediates every interaction, both 1:1 and at scale. Really understanding those trends will become increasingly important.

What skill/experience is required of today's CCO that might not be as relevant in the future?
I think the core skills stay the same —the tactics will continue to evolve.

Who or what inspires you to be your best? 
My team -- they are so full of great ideas and energy!

What is on your must-read/view/listen to list? 
The Discover playlist in Spotify — I'm always on the search for new great music.

Most interesting place you've traveled to?
I love Barcelona and the Old Town in particular — such a great mix of history and the now.