Andy Wirth, president and CEO of ski resorts Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows in California, was the titular boss in this week’s episode of popular CBS reality series “Undercover Boss.” As part of the show, which gives high-ranking executives an inside look at what it’s like to be one of their employees, Wirth worked in the ski patrol, as a snowboard instructor, and as an employee on his terrain park.
“Ever since I started as CEO, I have focused on spending time on the
mountain with our guests and staff engaging in the experience,” said
Wirth in a statement. “I saw this as a great opportunity to work with our team,
side-by-side on a very real level. I came away from the experience
incredibly proud of our hard working employees and honored to be a part
of this extraordinary team.”
Given the popularity of the show, it’s become more difficult for bosses’ identities to remain secret, a particular challenge for this episode given how small the ski community is. In order to keep his cover, Wirth pretended to be a computer programmer on a reality show hosted by Olympic Gold Medalist and “Skating With The Stars” alum Jonny Moseley, and got an elaborate makeover that included hair extensions and painted-on moles.
It was an eye-opening experience for Wirth, particularly after he heard about the impact that merging Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows had on his employees — the change of ownership did cause some problems for the instructors.