Todd Pedersen incognito: Vivint CEO appears on 'Undercover Boss'

Feb. 20, 2015
Company's top exec shares his experience filming reality show with SIW

Todd Pedersen, the co-founder and CEO of home security and technology services provider Vivint, will become the latest executive featured on the hit reality series “Undercover Boss” tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. For those unacquainted with the show, it features the head honchos of businesses who put on elaborate disguises and work in various positions throughout their company to get a better understanding of some of the things they may be doing right or wrong from a management perspective.

Pedersen said one of his primary goals in doing the show was to find out if some of the decisions and processes they had put in place from an executive level were actually helpful to their employees or whether or not they even mattered. Ultimately, Pedersen wanted to know if Vivint employees were happy with their jobs and if they understood the vision of the company.

 “There were minor things in each portion of the business, but very minor, that needed to be looked at or changed,” said Pedersen. “Some of them were design features to hardware that we design, build and install and we were able to make some changes to some of those components. These were things that probably most people wouldn’t think were a big deal. But what I did absolutely realize, and I think always have, but I’ve kind of reawakened to the fact that people on the frontlines – the employee base of a company – they care about the small things. The little incremental things are what make the difference between them being able to perform their job well, interact the right way with the customer and then really be happy on the job, which in turn makes them do a better job at what they’re doing.”

During the show, Pedersen had the opportunity to work in several different areas within the company including a central monitoring station, a distribution center for their solar business and as a technician installing a micro hub for Vivint’s wireless broadband service.

“As one of the founders of the business, I’m pretty visible inside the company so disguising me wasn’t incredibly easy but they did a great job of that. Obviously, out there doing the jobs I had to be cautious that I didn’t show too much knowledge and not necessarily knowledge about the job, but make some comment that would show people I knew about Vivint or size or scale and other things that we’re doing,” explained Pedersen.  

Pedersen said the end result of going on the show was that he came away “extremely pleased” that the company has a great workforce of people who are excited about what they do and, just as important; understand the direction of the business. Additionally, Pedersen said that filming the show provided him with renewed energy for where Vivint is going as a company and feels like they are in a great position to achieve their goals.

An added bonus of being a part of a nationally televised show like “Undercover Boss” is that it will also raise the profile of Vivint with consumers, which Pedersen said should only serve as a positive for the company moving forward. Pedersen said that from his perspective, however, it was nice to get out in the field and do some things that he’s not usually accustomed to doing as part of his job as CEO.

“The reality (of the show) for me, personally, was that it was kind of back to the basics. We started the business with 10 friends and it went from 10 to 100 employees and then 200 employees,” said Pedersen. “Back in those days I knew all of the employees, I knew every single job and process, but as a company gets larger and larger, it becomes almost impossible to stay on top of every minute detail of the business and every job involved in that. And then you get the point where you rely on good, talented people to manage those processes inside of the company, so it was really nice to be able to get back to kind of ground zero and do real jobs. I was out there doing things I don’t do. There are jobs I don’t do for a living and so I was like a new employee on the first day of the job.”     

Pedersen said he would advise other executives to take part in “Undercover Boss” should they ever be presented with the opportunity.

“It’s a good reason to go back out into the field and do jobs that… are core to the business but aren’t jobs that CEOs normally do. It was absolutely worth it 100 percent,” said Pedersen.         

About the Author

Joel Griffin | Editor-in-Chief,

Joel Griffin is the Editor-in-Chief of, a business-to-business news website published by Endeavor Business Media that covers all aspects of the physical security industry. Joel has covered the security industry since May 2008 when he first joined the site as assistant editor. Prior to SecurityInfoWatch, Joel worked as a staff reporter for two years at the Newton Citizen, a daily newspaper located in the suburban Atlanta city of Covington, Ga.