'I Think It's Fine to Be Underestimated'

Michelle Peluso, the CEO of Gilt, shares her advice on leadership, work-life balance, and shoulder pads. 

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Throughout her career, Michelle Peluso has explored the rapidly evolving frontier of e-commerce. The company she founded in 2000, Site59, became a leader in last-minute travel deals before Travelocity acquired it in 2002. After serving as Travelocity's CEO for six years, she went on to Citigroup before becoming the CEO of Gilt, a popular destination for luxury shopping online.

In this first installment of Advice to a Younger Me, a new series from Atlantic Video, she reflects on some of the lessons she's learned over the course of her career. "Don't wear shoulder pads -- they don't look good on anybody!" she joked when we sat down with her in Gilt's New York office to hear what advice she'd have about life as a female entrepreneur. But she shares some big-picture perspective on leadership and work-life balance too; "I actually think it's a fabulous time to be a woman in business," she says with a smile. 

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Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.
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