Franz Paasche | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
Franz-Paasche

Franz Paasche 

VP of corporate affairs
PayPal 

Franz Paasche joined PayPal as the payments giant prepared for its split from parent company eBay as the two companies became independent, publicly-traded companies. Under his tenure, PayPal’s corporate affairs has undergone a significant transformation that has created a cross-functional team across communications, government relations and social innovation. But this change has been accompanied by some amount of churn with notable departures over the last year and an agency consolidation with Edelman.

Paasche certainly has the experience to navigate PayPal through its new iteration. He   brings over 25 years of experience in strategic communications to the role. Before he 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. Paasche holds a law degree from Columbia University and spent his early career as a   litigator and general counsel. 

Please share a notable career highlight. 
Most recently, I have had the privilege of participating in the creation of our new corporate affairs function at PayPal, bringing together the remarkable talents and expertise of our communications, government relations and social innovation professionals into a strong, collaborative, cross-functional team.  It's great to be working with an extraordinary group of colleagues — and we are already seeing great results from this transformative team structure.

What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect about a career in communications/marketing?
For me the work we do in communications is most rewarding when we have the opportunity to provide strategic counsel that contributes to fulfilling a company's mission, vision and values. Building teams and working with colleagues across disciplines on campaigns and initiatives that achieve positive results and make a difference for the mission is tremendously rewarding.

What skills/experience will the CCO of the future need that may not be required today?
In addition to needing deep expertise in the spectrum of our evolving communications channels and measurement metrics, to my view CCOs will increasingly be critical to risk assessment and risk management. We will also play an increasingly important role in furthering the social purpose of our institutions.

Who or what inspires you to be your best? 
I find inspiration in the work and commitment of my colleagues, the support of my family and the counsel of good friends.

What is on your must-read/view/listen to list? 
I always start the day with the New York Times and the FT - with an on-line injection from Quartz and Politico. I confess to taking in news and commentary on-line virtually all day long - I am a bit of a news junkie.

Most interesting place you've traveled to?
Several years ago I spent a year regularly traveling back and forth to Jakarta. It was a fascinating and formative experience.