FOSTER CITY, CA: Visa has appointed Michele Quintaglie, former head of communications for Fidelity Investments’ global asset management business, to serve as SVP of global corporate communications.
Quintaglie, who spent eight years at Fidelity, started in the role on May 5, according to an internal memo seen by PRWeek. She is reporting to Antonio Lucio, chief brand officer at Visa.
Visa’s top communications position had been vacant since last May when former global corporate relations leader Doug Michelman left the company amidst a restructuring of its communications and marketing departments.
Visa's global corporate relations department was shifted under marketing in April 2013, while Lucio became chief brand officer after serving as CMO at the company since 2007. Michelman had previously reported to CEO Joseph Saunders.
Quintaglie is tasked with leading all corporate communications and PR efforts for Visa, including media relations, public affairs, and executive engagement. She also oversees the company’s regional corporate communications teams.
Lucio said Quintaglie was the right person for the role because of her experience as a communicator globally and on the client and agency sides. Before Fidelity, Quintaglie spent six years at Hill & Knowlton in a number of roles. She also previously worked as a public affairs officer for the United Nations in Nairobi, Africa for seven years.
"[Quintaglie] comes from Fidelity, which, like General Electric, Unilever, and IBM, has integrated both corporate communications and marketing into one function, so she understands how to navigate seamlessly between both worlds," Lucio said.
Restructuring the marketing and communications departments has allowed Visa to better engage governments, consumers, employees, clients, and stakeholders around the world, said Lucio.
"We were doing this as two separate functions with separate messaging for each one of our stakeholders, and about a year ago, we decided it was time for the company to become stakeholder relevant and have everything ladder up into a totally integrated story," he explained.
Throughout the year, Visa will continue to strengthen and add to the communications team under Quintaglie’s leadership, Lucio said. The corporate communications team has about 90 staffers at the moment, he added.
Visa launched its Everywhere You Want to Be communications platform earlier this year, and Lucio said one of his goals for the year is to establish the positioning globally.
Last November, PRWeek reported that Visa cut work with its PR agency partners around the world as part of a move to bring more of its communications function in-house. Agency partners FleishmanHillard, Edelman, and Brunswick were affected by the reassessment, which resulted in significant account budget cuts, according to various sources.
A month later, Visa communications SVP Ryan Donovan left the financial services giant to take a senior communications role at electronic health record company Practice Fusion.
This story was updated on May 19 at 5:55pm ET with quotes from Visa chief brand officer Antonio Lucio.