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Franz Paasche is a staunch proponent of companies expanding the targets of their outreach and efforts, driven by the idea that stakeholder engagement is key to business success. “The challenges and opportunities facing the world today require companies to consider impact and engagement across all primary stakeholder groups – in PayPal’s case these are employees, customers, regulators, shareholders and communities. These audiences are looking to companies that have prioritized purpose as a business imperative, as well as leaders who are using their social capital and influence to address societal issues and make a difference,” he wrote in an article published in PRovoke Media. In turn, Paasche has driven the company’s communications in ways that reflect the changing dynamics, evolving the function to serve the company in this new multi-stakeholder environment.
Paasche joined PayPal in 2015 as the payments giant prepared for its split from parent company eBay and the two companies became independent, publicly traded companies. His work on this transition resulted in a promotion to senior VP in 2016, when he told Ethical Corporation: “We find ourselves at a defining moment in time, when companies must think and act more coherently and consistently about how their values play out in the world… At PayPal that means that we’re focused on our ability to make a difference in the lives of those who are underserved by the financial system – relentlessly working together to reimagine money and democratize the financial system to improve the financial health of our customers.”
Under his tenure, PayPal’s corporate affairs function has undergone a significant transformation, with the creation of a cross-functional team across communications, government relations and social innovation. This change has been accompanied by some churn, with notable departures and an agency consolidation with Edelman.
Before Paasche joined PayPal in 2015, he spent almost four years at McKinsey & Company, where he was responsible for external relations, public affairs, strategic communications and reputation risk, and oversaw issues management in North America. Prior to that, he was a senior partner at FleishmanHillard and was managing director at Clark & Weinstock. He is also one of the few comms industry leaders to hold a law degree.
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