("Undercover Boss" article updated with 1-800-Flowers.com episode.)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- 1-800-Flowers.com's (FLWS) - Get Report President Chris McCann went undercover at his own company during the season finale of CBS' (CBS) - Get Report reality show Undercover Boss.
, the conceit is simple: executives take entry-level positions at their own companies to see where improvements can be made. Hilarity -- and wisdom! -- ostensibly ensue.
McCann went into last night's episode with one goal in mind: to grow the flower business. Shares of the company have traded as low as $1.53 during the 52-week period, and the company's second second-quarter earnings took a hit, falling 9% to $12.7 million, or 20 cents a share.
This is hardly a surprise, given what McCann learned during his stint as an entry-level employee.
During the episode, McCann learned how to create a floral arrangement, finding that his teacher, Pauline, has no idea about the company's training programs. He then worked in a chocolate factory, where he discovered that employees must meet unrealistic production goals. Later, a store manager told him that she is often bored, since 1-800-Flowers never advertised the store's opening and there are days where there are no customers at all.
What made the episode even more interesting is that McCann's brother, Jim McCann, is the founder of the company, and highly competitive with his brother. Jim even planned a surprise trip to watch his brother in action.
At the end of the episode, McCann provided each of the employees he met with a gift and words of encouragement.
McCann must have made some impression, as shares of the company are advancing 6% to $3.01 in afternoon trading.
Waste Management -- CEO: Trash to Power
In the pilot episode, which aired after the Super Bowl in February,
President and Chief Operating Officer Larry O'Donnell was the first executive to undergo the undercover ruse. Waste Management is the largest garbage-collection company and landfill operator in the United Sates. In the episode, O'Donnell cleaned porta-potties, sorted waste at a recycling plant and collected garbage from a landfill.
Another episode featured
Chief Operation Officer Bill Carstanjen became a racetrack employee for the day, working with a horse trainer and cleaning luxury suites at a racetrack.
Which other executives have appeared on the show? Read on to find out....
-- Larry O'Donnell , President and Chief Operating Officer of
-- White Castle
owner Dave Rife
-- Coby Brooks, CEO of
-- Joseph DePinto, President and CEO of
-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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