2014 rank: 29
2013 rank: 28
By Corey duBrowa, SVP, global communications and international public affairs, Starbucks
Nobody puts Microsoft’s Frank Shaw in the corner. Rarely has a communications pro been so perfectly suited to their role. His military training as a public affairs officer in the Marines gave him the discipline and dogged determination required of a guy fighting on the front lines of tech’s non-stop innovation wars.
His liberal arts education and love of Socratic argument perfectly positions him to referee the voluminous opinions floating around Microsoft on any given issue.
Full disclosure: Frank and I were colleagues for many years at Waggener Edstrom – in fact, he hired me – and once told me our job descriptions working as co-leads on the Microsoft account should read, "We take your input, here."
His social media acumen is almost nonpareil – as more than one journalist and fellow communicator has learned on the receiving end of a sharp verbal uppercut, right @jillhazelbaker?
As our mutually favorite bard Bob Dylan once sang, "You don’t need a weatherman toknow which way the wind blows." But a spirited, top-notch comms guy? The kind who can lead through one of the most talked-about CEO transitions in recent memory? Or navigate acquisitions on the scale of a Skype? You can always use one of those. And Frank most certainly qualifies as one of the best.