Vivint boss goes undercover

TV show experience offers insights
 - 
Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PROVO, Utah—Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen’s incognito stint on “Undercover Boss” prompted him to make some “tweaks” in his business, he said.

The reality show on CBS will air Feb. 20. Pedersen, who spoke with Security Systems News before the broadcast, was unable to provide details because of CBS restrictions, but he did say the experience was beneficial to him as head of the residential security company.

“My goal was to get out in the field, to get out on the frontlines where real things happen,” he said.

As a CEO, that’s not an easy thing to make happen and he was glad the show gave him that welcome opportunity.

For the show, Pedersen, posing as a Vivint trainee, donned a wig and glasses and even changed the color of his eyes so that he wouldn’t be recognized by his employees. Show producers did a good job with his disguise, he said. “It was a fun process.”

Not only did he want to have direct interaction with customers who were having systems installed, he wanted to see if employees were happy with the company, he said. “Were we serving their needs?”

His expectations were met positively, he said. He didn’t encounter the need for any sweeping changes in the way Vivint operates, but did find that some “small, incremental” steps would benefit his employees.

Declining to go into detail because of the CBS contractual obligations, he said that Vivint will make some “small design changes” in its hardware that could make the difference of “three to five minutes” in installation time.

“It’s the small things that matter,” Pedersen said.

Going undercover gave him a greater appreciation for his employees “doing their jobs.”

“Vivint has an incredible employee base and we continue to reinvent ourselves,” he said.

After posing as a newcomer on the job, “I realize the importance for training,” he said.

“Honestly, I thought it was the best experience,” he said of the show.