May 18, 2023 - Economy

Communicator Spotlight: Franz Paasche of PayPal

Photo Illustration of Franz Paasche, PayPal's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer

Photo Illustration: Natalie Peeples/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of PayPal

Franz Paasche serves as chief corporate affairs officer at PayPal, where he oversees communications, employee engagement, reputation management, strategic research, public affairs, social impact, sustainability and strategic partnerships teams.

Why it matters: Paasche is one of the first to hold the chief corporate affairs officer position and believes "in many ways, [corporate affairs] is an engine for the mission, vision and values of the company."

📝 Current priority: Supporting PayPal's small-business month initiative, which is happening throughout May.

🌡 Hardest day on the job: Closing the office in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • "We’d prepared around the clock so we could make this move while providing seamless service for our customers who needed reliable digital payment services more than ever."
  • "As a global company, we were navigating varying health conditions and government policies in many different parts of the world, which required extensive and nuanced internal communications and the rapid establishment of an array of employee and customer support systems."

📈 Trend watch: Artificial intelligence and what it will mean for companies and communications functions.

🏆 Communication professionals he admires: Corey duBrowa at Google, Sally Susman at Pfizer and Michael Stewart at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

🌱 De-stress routine: Being in nature.

  • "When I have free time, I like to spend it outdoors gardening or pruning. For years, I have been trying to grow fig trees in New England ... and have finally achieved some success!"

🍽 Content plate: He's currently reading “Say the Right Thing” by Kenji Yoshino and is watching HBO's "Succession" and tuning in to Kara Swisher's accompanying podcast.

🧠 Best advice he received: "When I was a young attorney at Paul Weiss preparing for my first trial, a senior litigation partner asked to see my hands and said, "If you don’t have paper cuts, you’re not doing it right.”

  • "I’ve carried this advice forward as an adage for the value of being fully prepared, reviewing every document, mastering the facts and issues, and trying to think through every relevant scenario."

Subscribe to Axios Communicators.

Go deeper