One of Utah’s most recognizable faces will be getting a makeover Friday night when Utah Jazz CEO Greg Miller stars on CBS’ reality program “Undercover Boss.” The episode, which airs Feb. 28 at 7 p.m., follows Miller as he dons a disguise and works alongside his own employees at a Utah Jazz game.
When representatives from “Undercover Boss” contacted Miller late last summer, he admittedly didn’t know much about the show.
“I watched a couple episodes, and I really liked what I saw,” Miller said in an interview with the Deseret News. “I thought the show had a very positive vibe and thought that it would be really neat for me to be a part of that.”
One thing led to another, Miller explained, and filming for the episode was under way in October of last year.
Several notable companies that have worked with “Undercover Boss” in the past include 7-Eleven, DirecTV, MGM Grand, Kampgrounds of America and the Chicago Cubs. Friday’s episode marks the first time that CBS has joined forces with a professional basketball team.
Miller said going undercover was no easy task.
“The biggest challenge is that I try to get out and mingle with our employees on a regular basis, and I know a lot of them on a first-name basis,” he said. “Of course, in the Salt Lake market, I’m fairly visible, anyway, due to my position with the Larry H. Miller organization, so that was a challenge, but they did a pretty amazing job with my disguise.”
During the episode, Miller assumes the alias of a new employee named Mark Scott, sporting a dark brown beard, yellowed teeth and a heavyset physique
“Really, it was just a function of trying not to blow my cover when I was in disguise and out among the folks,” he said. “It was just trying to put my head down and go to work and do my job and not draw any additional attention to myself.”
As announced by CBS, in the episode, Miller will perform game-time tasks with the interactive team and will also work with the Jazz dunk team during a halftime show. He will also help the facilities department lay down the hardwood floor at EnergySolutions Arena and spend time as a vendor with the concessions crew.
Miller said his experience with “Undercover Boss” gave him insight into the dedication of his employees. “What surprised me was the level of commitment that our employees have in protecting the interests of our family and our business.”
Based on his involvement with the company while undercover, Miller said that he and his family have made plans to give back to their employees. Though he could not go into specifics, he did hint that big changes are coming for the Larry H. Miller Group.
“As a result of what I learned from my ‘Undercover Boss’ experience,” Miller said, “our family has implemented a new resource that’s available to all of our employees throughout the organization that I hope will enrich lives. This show was very consistent with our family, as far as improving the operation and enriching lives. That’s really what we spend most of our time doing, so it was a great fit.”
Miller took over as CEO of the Larry H. Miller Group in 2008, just prior to the death of his father. He said that the shift in leadership has given him a much greater sense of responsibility in regards to the welfare of his workers.
“I’m now the one responsible for the well-being of our organization and our nearly 10,000 employees,” he said. “Being the one that’s the face of the organization and being so visible are probably the biggest ways that my life has changed.”Comment on this story
Overall, Miller said, he had a great experience working with his employees on a personal level. “I made a lot of friends. I learned several ways that we can make the organization better, and I was able to enrich lives — specifically the lives of the employees that I worked with on the show,” he said.
“I have to give credit for our success to the nearly 10,000 men and women in the organization who do such a great job for us, day in and day out. Without them, the Larry H. Miller Group would be nothing.”