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CEO sees true value of company on ‘Undercover Boss’ Sunday

A former FBI agent who’s now president and CEO of Chicago-based True Value Co. put his covert investigative skills to work for the season six premiere of “Undercover Boss,” airing at 7 p.m. Sunday on WBBM-Channel 2.

The reality series follows high-level executives as they anonymously infiltrate the rank-and-file of their organizations to get a glimpse of the inner workings of their operation.

John Hartmann, who took the top post at the hardware co-op in spring of 2013, traveled to True Value locations across the country this summer to tape the TV show.

Working in disguise as “Louis Lapresi,” he took on several odd jobs, from retail sales associate to forklift driver in stocking and receiving at one of the cooperative’s distribution centers. (By the look of his get-up, it seems safe to assume Hartmann didn’t wear a lot of disguises during his time with the feds.)

CBS press materials say “the boss is shocked by the inappropriate on-the-job pickup artist antics of one of the employees” during his “special assignment.”

A written statement from Hartmann suggests he was more impressed than ticked off by the True Value worker bees.

“My ‘Undercover Boss‘ experience was nothing short of incredible,” Hartmann is quoted as saying in a company-issued press release. “I gained a newfound understanding of the jobs each of these hardworking professionals do each day.”

True Value Company, based out of its Retail Support Center in Chicago, is one of the world’s largest retailer-owned hardware cooperatives with worldwide sales totaling roughly $5.5 billion.

In 2010, Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts did an “Undercover Boss” episode. He ended up getting canned from his janitorial position at Wrigley.

Here’s a peek at Sunday’s episode. Let’s hope Hartmann doesn’t come off looking like a tool: