This episode of Undercover Boss follows Mark King, CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company. TaylorMade is the number one maker of high-end golf equipment in the world. Mark King has been with the company for 30 years and started as a sales rep. After Adidas bought the company, he was made CEO. He takes his job seriously but thinks work should be done by 5pm. His goal is to figure out how the company can be better to bring in more revenue. He’s going undercover as Al Bauer, a golf enthusiast.
His first stop is Westminster, SC to work in quality control at a factory producing golf balls. Al is working with Caley, a quality control auditor. She inspects over 5,000 golf balls a day. Caley inspects the golf balls quickly but Al is slow because he has bad eyesight. They move on to stamp inspection and he’s just as slow on that task. Caley’s been at her position for two years. All of the supervisors work first shift so she has no one to go to with problems or questions.
Al tells Caley about her daughters and how close he is to them. Caley’s father was not in her life. Her aunt and uncle took her in and cared for her. Now she’s married and living in a mobile home until they can save for a new house. Al is very proud of Caley and wants to keep her in the company.
Al’s next stop is in Peidmont, SC at a return center for footwear and apparel. He’s working with Teresa, the returns supervisor. Her department handles returns for the entire country. Al tries his hand at entering return numbers and scanning returns but he’s slow. Teresa’s been with the company for 23 years and created the returns department. Al is shocked to find that returned shoes are cut and tossed in the garbage.
On break, Teresa and Al get to talk and she flirts with him. She’s taking a singles cruise to Alaska in July. Her mother was a foster parent and she’s thinking about becoming one. He feels uneasy about lying about his past when she’s pouring her heart out. He breaks cover and tells her who he really is. He tells her she’s a spectacular employee.
Al’s third stop is in Liberty Township, OH to train as a demo technician. The demo tech invites golfers to test out equipment and adjusts it to the consumers need. Al’s working with Jarryd, a demo tech. He does four to five demos a week while attending college. He wants to be a professional golfer and he won a state tournament. During the demo, the tech watches the golfer hit a few balls and then makes adjustments based on what they see. Jarryd is very knowledgeable about the clubs and adjustments.
On a break, Jarryd tells Al the techs only get paid for their time on the course and not the gas or travel time. Jarryd can’t work on his pro game because he’s busy and doesn’t have the money. If he could find a sponsor, he could work at it. He wants to eventually own his own course and bring the price of the game down.
His fourth stop is in Carlsbad, CA at the manufacturing plant, also the headquarters of the company. He’s working with Christian, a club assembler. He glues the head of the club to the shaft. The company announced overtime and Christian’s happy. He never misses overtime and he spends more time at the plant than at home. He had a soccer scholarship in college but his mother got sick so he dropped out to help.
As he’s working, the workers in the plant start to stare at Al. They come over from other departments to check him out. Finally, someone comes and asks if he’s Mark King and he reveals himself. Most of the workers know he’s the CEO so he goes around saying hi and shaking hands.
Mark reveals himself to the employees he worked with during his undercover time. He tells Caley he is impressed with her work ethic. There will be a supervisor on-call when they need one. He gives her $3,000 to buy a dog she wants. He also gives her $10,000 towards her new house.
He tells Jarryd he is impressed with how he organizes the demo days. The company will also pay the techs for their driving time. TaylorMade will also give him $50,000 and sponsor him for two years. Mark tells Christian he is impressed with what he’s done for his family. He gives him $10,000 for his mother’s medical bills. He also tells him he wants him to work part-time so he can go back to school so he gives Christian $15,000 to supplement his income for two years. Mark is also paying for Christian’s school.
Mark applauds Teresa for taking the initiative to start the returns department. The company is starting golf to inner city kids program and the returns will go to that program. He’s giving her a week off, spending money, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia.
Caley is looking for a new home with her husband and dogs; Jarryd is practicing again to head on the PGA tour; Christian went back to school; Teresa is planning her trip and saving lots of returns for the new program.
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(Photo Source: University of Washington)