Undercover Boss Analysis of Mark King: CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company


“Undercover Boss” is a new television series that takes real top-level executives of large corporations, and plants them in entry-level positions in their own companies, disguised as just another John Doe, to see what really goes on in both the front-lines, and the minds of their employees. The Collared Sheep will be providing analysis of each executive in each episode, because, well, we all work for CEO’s like these.

Mark-King-CEO-TaylorMade-GolfName: Mark King
Title: CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company
Headquarters: Carlsbad, CA
Product or Service: Golf Equiptment

Brief Overview:

In this week’s episode of “Undercover Boss”,  Mark King, CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company, goes undercover as “Al Bower” to see the company from the employees’ perspective.



Insert any number of "ball" jokes here

Position 1: Quality Control Auditor

Overview: Caley and Mark inspect balls for imperfections… hehe.

Result: Mark has poor vision and this makes him very slow at this task. Many stations are far from each other and require Carley and Mark to run quickly between them to maintain speed. Mark feels that he’s too out of shape to keep up.

Caley complains that she is stressed at work because for 2 of the 3 shifts, there is no supervisor present, which forces her to make big decisions that are not her responsibility.

Caley was raised by her aunt and uncle, and now struggles to pay the bills with her husband. They live in a mobile home with one dog, and hope to add another.

How he made amends: Mark assures Caley that there will now be a supervisor on call at all times. She is also awarded $3k for her next dog, and $10k to put toward her dream home.

What he should have done: Having a supervisor on call at all times is a great solution to Caley’s main complaint. Get the benefit of a supervisor when you need them, without paying for them to be at work – best of both worlds.


Minor defects end up in the trash

Position 2: Returns Supervisor

Overview: Teresa and Mark monitor incoming returns, logging them into a database.

Result: Mark doesn’t know how to use a computer or type, which makes this particular role difficult for him. Mark is shocked to see how many minimally defective shoes are being destroyed and trashed.

Teresa has been working for TaylorMade for many years now and was actually the one who suggested the returns database and management. She is single, and hopes to visit both Alaska and Australia one day.

How he made amends: Mark starts a new program to get inner city children into golf, beginning with providing them with the defective equipment that they previously would just throw away. Teresa is also awarded a week’s paid vacation, with an additional $5k spending money. As the icing on the cake, she is also given an all expenses paid trip to Australia.

What he should have done: Mark decides to give the slightly defective shoes and equipment to those in need, rather than throw them away – a charitable and respectable play. Good form, Mark.


A hard days work

Position 3: Demo Tech Rep

Overview: Mark tries to keep up with Jarryd as he demos clubs for customers on the green.

Result: Jarryd loves his job, and is great at it. His only complaint is that sometimes he is forced to drive for hours to get to work, and is only paid for the time he is actually showing the products to potential customers.

Jarryd dreams of playing pro golf, and hopes to one day land a sponsor. School and work get in the way of him practicing, but he’s a great player and wins local tournaments regardless.

How he made amends: Jarryd is promised that he will now be reimbursed so lengthy commutes. Mark decides to have TaylorMade sponsor Jarryd as a professional golfer, which includes $50k, and any equipment he may need.

What he should have done: Reimbursing the demo technicians for their gas was good, but sponsoring Jarryd was excellent. As a young, up and coming rising golf star, who’s already been loyal to TaylorMade for years, Jarryd makes an excellent sponsorship candidate.


A star is born

Position 4: Club Manufacturing

Overview: Cristian shows Mark how to assemble golf clubs in the manufacturing facility .

Result: Mark is slow, but probably just because he is not as intimately familiar with the machinery as Cristian. About halfway through his shift, Cristian’s coworkers recognize Mark and call him out. The gig was up.

Mark learns the Cristian previously had a soccer scholarship for college, but dropped out to take care of his ill mother. He now works to assist with family bills.

How he made amends: Cristian is awarded $10k to assist with his mother’s medical bills, and $15k a year, for two years, so that he can stop working full time, and go back to school. Additionally, Mark states that he will also be paying for his entire college tuition.

What he should have done: A common error among undercover bosses, Mark provides a solitary scholarship to one individual in the company, when there’s not doubt plenty of other equally deserving workers. Instead of a singling out one individual, he should have started a new company wide scholarship program, with Cristian being the first recipient.

Still, only a minor defect – Mark shot par for this course.



A hole in one.

Mark King earned a “A” grade for his appearance on Undercover Boss.

On top of being incredibly generous to the lucky individuals selected for the show, Mark made a valiant attempt at responding to all issues and complaints detailed in each job. Mark also provided the means for all four of these people to reach for their dreams, especially Jarryd. Perhaps most importantly, he made several, large charitable plays in the segment, from donating countless shoes and golf equipment to the needy, to starting a free golf program for orphans. Mark comes off as one of the most genuine bosses we’ve seen to date.

Mark, chalk this one up as an eagle. See you at the 19th hole.

Don’t like our grade? Drop us a rebuttal, and leave a comment below.


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6 Responses to “Undercover Boss Analysis of Mark King: CEO of TaylorMade Golf Company”
  1. I just wanted to say that if more people in management like Mark King it would make a huge difference in ones work day.I think Mark has a good heart it is just as obvious he is a true man of character.It almost seemed as if he had some southern style about himself and there is nothing more sexy than a man with true southern style.It is christmas evening 2012 just saw the show for the second time enjoyed it again.Mark you have a beautiful smile and when you smile your face lights up like a christman,that is just precious in my mind.

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  6. Francisca geead says:

    He is very compassionate towards his employees .
    One of the best episodes aired so far.
    Good Job Mr CEO

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