Maybe CEOs aren't the evil, overpaid, bonus-gobbling pigs that many people think they are.
We're now just two episodes into CBS'
Waste Management President and COO Larry O'Donnell came out shining in the debut episode. He may not have been much of an artisan in plucking trash from a landfill or draining a portable toilet, but his down-to-earth demeanor, compassion for his hard-working underlings, and personal challenges in his family life humanized the corporate chieftain.
Obviously this is a television show. Company executives aren't going to sign off on a show that makes them or their companies look bad. They may hang a few middle managers out to dry, but the top and the bottom of any profiled company is going to come out looking sparkling.
Right now, I can think of several consumer-facing companies that should be bombarding the show producers with requests to be featured in the next season.
They better hurry. Time isn't kind, folks. This may be a compelling show in theory, but it's not going to be able to have much of a run. Just as filming Borat 2 would be a challenge, it's going to be hard to surprise front lines in the future when a film crew happens to be following around a middle-aged white guy who is new to an entry-level job.
Not just any CEO, President, or COO will work. The Waste Management episode worked because of the variety of tasks performed. It would be boring if Starbucks
Here are a few CEOs that could benefit from the exposure.
(NYSE:DIS). This is a no-brainer. CEO Bob Iger can go from park janitor to Disney Store cashier to ESPN intern.
(NYSE:DRI). This may be strictly a restaurant company, but the variety of concepts should make it fun. There's the casual-dining mainstays of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, and Longhorn. There's the upscale Capital Grille and the smaller Seasons 52 and Bahama Breeze concepts that could use a little publicity. The Darden exec can also try different back or front of the house gigs through the concepts to keep things fresh.
Warner Music Group
(NYSE:WMG). The music industry may be dying, but it would still be fun to watch CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. try his hand as an A&R assistant in entertaining a visiting band, working distribution, or botching a recording session.
Surely there may be better companies to profile, so let us all know. Pitch your choice in the comment box below.
Walt Disney and Waste Management are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Walt Disney and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. Waste Management is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't watch as much television as he used to, but he is enjoying this show. He does own shares in Disney. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.