IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - "Undercover Boss" airs Friday nights at 7 p.m. on KIDK Channel 3. Would you believe, the boss that went undercover has ties to Eastern Idaho?
His name is Todd Pedersen. He is the CEO and founder of Vivint. Vivint is a smart home technology company. They provide home security and fire detection, automation, wireless internet, and now solar panels.
"I'm not your typical CEO. If you see me, I'm almost always in a Vivint-branded hat," said Pedersen.
His roots take him back to Eastern Idaho.
"Growing up, I challenged everything," he said.
Pedersen attended high school as a Tiger at Idaho Falls High. It was after that when he came up with the idea of a home security business.
"I was a college student. I didn't have money for school. The very first summer, I actually made $80,000. So I dropped out of school and pursued the business. Children, do not do that!" he said.
The business grew big, even beyond the United States. In 2012, Vivint was sold for $2 billion.
"I chose to keep equity and retain the CEO title, because I believe in the future and I didn't want to miss out on being a part of something great," said Pedersen.
Speaking of something great, how about secretly going undercover within your own company?
"Incredible experience. I loved it," he said.
It didn't appear easy the one time it showed him on the rooftop of an installation.
"In my brain, I'm thinking, how am I not going to fall off this roof and die?" said Pedersen.
And he didn't appear very good at it.
"Oops. I was horrible. It was amazing. In fact, it was about a week-long experience, but I didn't want it to end. Truthfully, when it was done, even though I wanted to get back to my family desperately, I didn't really want it to end quite yet. And there were things that we learned that we actually implemented and made immediate changed inside the company," said Pedersen.
What was the biggest takeaway?
"Well, I relearned that it's the small thing that matters. It's the detail that matters," said Pedersen.
But $2 billion is no small detail.
"There has never been a moment where I've thought I've made it. And can I afford things? Sure. But that, to me, is not making it. That's just financial. That's not the end in mind. That's just a byproduct," Pedersen said.
What would be his best advice?
"You know, I don't think you can really plan on something being as big as it is. You can just do your best," he said.
Pedersen's family has moved from Idaho Falls.