Frank X. Shaw | Influence 100 2022
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Frank X. Shaw

Corporate VP, Communications

When 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. Which probably helps to explain why Shaw is only too happy to take Microsoft critics to task on Twitter. 

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.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Our Xbox Game showcase always drives significant signup and engagement with select games.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
How to reach our key audiences in a time of increased polarization, fragmentation of media and disinformation.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
I think the industry overall has done a good job of focusing on key issues (DEI, other social issues) both internally and externally.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?Long urban hikes when I can, bike rides, podcasts, books.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?
Love the podcast ‘End of Civilizations’ which is way more positive than it sounds! There is a ton of great speculative fiction out there, I'd recommend anything by Nnedi Okarafor or Saad Z. Hossain.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Writing books/stories.

Sum up 2022 in one word.