TaylorMade boss Mark King goes under cover


Here’s another reason Mark King is one of my favorite golf executives. King, president and CEO of TaylorMade-adidas Golf, will appear on an episode of the CBS show “Undercover Boss” on April 6 at 8 p.m. EDT.

You have to give King credit for putting himself out there. Not many other equipment CEOs would risk the potential embarrassment, but King always has been a bit of a risk taker. That’s one reason why TMaG sits at the top of the equipment food chain these days.

Mark King in disguise

Each week, “Undercover Boss” follows a different executive as he or she leaves the boardroom for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their companies.

In the April 6 episode, King works in a few different capacities ranging from a quality control auditor at the golf ball plant in Westminster, S.C., to a golf club assembler at TMaG headquarters in Carlsbad. In preparation for his role and in an effort to disguise himself from employees, King shaved his head, wore fake teeth, earrings, a tattoo, baggy clothes and grew a scruffy beard.

“My first reaction to hearing about this opportunity was laughter and disbelief because anyone who knows me knows that everything about me is incapable of a disguise,” said King. “After hearing that this wasn’t a joke and after being re-assured that there actually was a disguise that would allow me to go under cover, I realized that this was a tremendous opportunity to re-engage our employees.

“I wanted to see if the values and strategies we put in place at our executive level were being communicated down to the front line employees. Things have certainly changed since I was on those front lines 30 years ago, but I came away with a better appreciation of all of the hard work and passion that goes into making us the best golf company in the world.”

Sounds like must-see TV.



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