Frank Shaw | Influence 100

Frank X. Shaw 

Chief Communications Officer 



When Frank X 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. Recent challenges include pro-Russia hackers disrupting services, and the FTC suing the company to block its $69 billion deal to buy Activision Blizzard.

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?

This year when we launched the new Bing with Bing Chat, the event drove extensive trial and thus business impact.

What are the communications industry’s biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?

Dealing with the combination of geopolitical challenges, economic uncertainty and industry change driven by new technology.

What have you most admired about the communications industry over the past year, and what has disappointed you? 

The industry continues to show up at key moments, and never have there been better examples of the difference between good work and its impact, and bad.

What work from your team are you most proud of over the past year?

Each year we host a gaming showcase in June to show the coming games; this year the coverage and the direct views were incredible.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?

I’ve been cycling home at the end of the day; this is a great way to build in a buffer.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?

I’ve loved listening to ‘Nobody Asked Us with Des and Kara’, which is a newer podcast.

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

A journalist.