A headshot of Michael Marinello who works for Aon. The background is blurred.
Michael Marinello. Image: Aon

Meet the leader who helps big names communicate tech’s potential

16 Dec 2022

Throughout his career, Aon’s Michael Marinello has worked with the film industry, politicians and businesses to highlight the power of technology.

As global head of communications and content at Aon, Michael Marinello has a varied role.

From his base in New York, he leads all comms and thought leadership efforts for the financial services giant. This includes explaining the work the company does in the tech space to both colleagues and clients.

It also involves communicating to the broader tech world about Aon’s capabilities, helping it recruit technology talent to push its business further.

Helping Marinello with this is more than 20 years of experience, including plenty of time in communications and consulting roles at tech firms.

Communicating the value of tech

“One of the more interesting challenges I am constantly brought in to solve for firms and organisations of all types and industries is helping non-tech companies understand the value of their tech organisations,” he told SiliconRepublic.com.

It also involves highlighting the necessity of communicating with colleagues, clients and the tech world “in order to raise brand value, accelerate business success and recruit and retain the necessary talent”.

“Each situation has been different, but creating a value-based, data and analytical approach has always led to successful outcomes for me,” he said.

Throughout his career, Marinello has worked for Microsoft, Bloomberg, IBM, Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting and at his own consultancy firm.

During his time at Microsoft, he worked for the general counsel on intellectual property, before running communications and analyst relations for Microsoft Office, launching Office 2010 and Lync.

He went on to serve on the CTO and head of engineering’s leadership teams at Bloomberg. He created and ran a cross-platform brand positioning and reputation effort for Bloomberg’s tech, innovation and design division.

He was also part of the team that designed, launched and ran Bloomberg’s first R&D office in Silicon Valley. And he helped IBM rebuild its comms platform while he was with the company.

Tech in entertainment

Marinello’s expertise in tech comms has also also seen him dip his toe into other industries.

He created and ran Bloomberg’s Branded Entertainment group, which saw him and his team work with the entertainment industry to highlight the company’s tech in shows such as Billions and The Newsroom as well as films such as Equity and The Big Short.

Marinello also served as a technical adviser on multiple productions – including Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster and starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts.

Working with some of Hollywood’s heavy hitters was always going to be a tough act to follow, but Marinello later moved to Turner Broadcasting/Time Warner.

While there, he was external comms lead for the CEO John Martin. This role saw him working with the company’s global departments compiling plans to position it as a tech leader in the entertainment world.

Branching into politics

Working with high-profile people on high-profile projects led Marinello to make his mark in politics, too. He was a member of the leadership council at TechNYC, a network of tech leaders set up by former mayor of New York and CEO of Bloomberg, Mike Bloomberg.

When Bloomberg launched his presidential campaign in 2020, he selected Marinello as chief liaison to the tech industry.

By the time he took that job on, Marinello had seen a lot of tech developments in his industry. He lived through “the advent of the 24-hour news cycle brought on by the online news revolution in the late ’90s”.

He also saw the “value of using technology to enhance the storytelling capabilities of firms and organisations”, as well as “the ascension and then dominance of social media and mobile technologies as the primary means of news and information consumption”.

And he witnessed the digitisation of the entertainment industry, which transitioned from tape and film to the use of internet protocols. As Marinello put it, what all this meant was that over time “tech companies became entertainment companies and entertainment companies became tech companies”.

Nowadays, he would describe himself as more than a comms executive.

“Succinctly put, my job is an extension of who I am as a person – builder, problem solver, leader, communicator, storyteller, entrepreneur.”

And it’s not for the faint-hearted.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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