Microsoft hired Frank Shaw (currently president of the Microsoft account worldwide for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Inc.) as its new corporate vice president for corporate communications. His responsibilities will include planning and execution, public affairs, media relations, executive communications, employee communications and global agency management.
“We are proud that the skills and leadership Frank developed, and demonstrated, in his 14 years at WE have been recognized as those Microsoft will most benefit from in driving its communications programs forward,” said Melissa Waggener Zorkin, CEO and founder of Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.
“I’ve been incredibly blessed by my time at Waggener Edstrom on a professional and personal level,” Shaw wrote in a blog post. “I’ve been able to work with some of the smartest communications people in the world, and have been encouraged to try new things, allowed to fail, been given challenges and opportunities that I never dreamed possible. And I’ve been able to work with Microsoft, a company who truly believes in the strategic power of communications. This is a big change in stride, for sure. I know there will be pains and gains along the way. But I am buoyed by the fact that I’ll continue to work with many of the same reporters, teammates at WE and people at Microsoft as I have for the past several years, albeit with a changed view from my window.”
At Microsoft Shaw will replace Simon Sproule, who was in the post for just a few months (from March 2009 till August 24 when he will trade places with Shaw).
Sproule, who was an automotive PR expert before his Microsoft employment, will return to his first love, taking up a job in Paris for Renault-Nissan.
“After an unexpectedly brief but successful stint at Microsoft, Simon Sproule has decided to return to his roots in the automotive industry,” said Ali Perkins, head of PR at Microsoft UK.
There are no official statements from Sproule to why he has decided to leave Microsoft – but considering Shaw’s background we can conclude that he is more appropriate for the job. Microsoft needs to revamp its PR strategy, especially in the search sector, if they seriously want Bing to compete with Google.