She’s back! Peluso named as Gilt Groupe CEO
Gilt Groupe has officially ended their months-long search for a new CEO, ending up choosing one of their own for the position: board member Michelle Peluso.
Gilt Groupe had been searching for a CEO since co-founder and current CEO Kevin Ryan announced he would be stepping down. The business has been in transition since Ryan took over the helm 2 years ago, reportedly steering the ship towards an eventual Initial Public Offering.
As part of the operational shake-up, full-priced men’s fashion brand Park & Bond has been on the chopping block, and travel brand Jetsetter has been officially put up for sale.
Jetsetter might have a reprieve from sale, given Peluso’s extensive travel background.
Peluso sold Site59, a travel deals site she created in 2000, to Travelocity for $43 million in cash in March 2002. Peluso joined Travelocity after the sale, taking up a position as the COO and SVP of Product Strategy and Distribution. She quickly rose up the ranks, holding the CEO position from 2003 to 2009.
Peluso is currently the Global Consumer Chief Marketing and Internet Officer at CitiGroup. In a statement, Peluso explains her enthusiasm for the new position:
“I’m tremendously excited to be leading a company with a brand I love and a team I’ve come to greatly admire. Gilt has done a terrific job establishing itself as one of the most innovative online shopping destinations and I am looking forward to continuing to build on Gilt’s growth and success.”
Gilt Groupe has been facing many challenges after losing $50 million in cash last year, and the ongoing restructuring has been an effort to streamline operations.
Moving forward, it’s expected that Peluso will continue on the path charted by Ryan, who will surely still be guiding the ship as chairman of the board.
Ryan said in the announcement:
“Michelle’s deep Internet experience, coupled with her operating and marketing background, made her my ideal choice to be Gilt’s CEO going forward. We have worked together for three years as fellow Board members and I am thrilled she will be leading Gilt to its next level of growth and market leadership.”
Nick Vivion is a writer and strategist. He was a Tnooz reporter and global events lead between August 2012 and July 2015. He was the launch co-founder of Booty's, a global street food restaurant in New Orleans and was recently AVP Operations, North America, at Zomato.