5. Frank Shaw, Microsoft

The trusty exec is going on 10 years as corporate VP of comms for the iconic tech company.

Silicon Valley loves a comeback story. One of the best of this century belongs to Microsoft. In the past five years, the Redmond, Washington-based company’s share price has increased threefold. It even briefly grabbed the highly coveted spot of the world’s most valuable company last year.

However, CEO Satya Nadella didn’t bring on a fresh face to run communications before this turnaround. Placing a steady hand on the company’s communications is Frank Shaw, a company veteran of nearly 10 years and one-time major in the Marine Corps. Microsoft consolidated its comms teams under Shaw in 2013. Previously, staffers reported to individual business units instead of a comms executive. The change clearly paid off.

Shaw’s tenure dates back to the era of Steve Ballmer, including highs from the launch of the Surface tablet to the lows of the Windows Phone.

That experience made Shaw a perfect fit to lead Microsoft’s communications in its next growth era, which is driven by cloud services more than its Windows operating system, leaving it primed for consistent growth in the future. Meanwhile, Shaw is one of the authors of a comeback story that would make even one-time archrival Apple green with envy.

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