Lorne Abony isn't afraid of an unconventional opportunity. The highly successful Canadian serial entrepreneur, and CEO of Mood Media, will be the first Canadian-born executive featured on the Emmy Award-winning CBS series Undercover Boss on Friday, Jan. 4 at 8 p.m. ET.
Each week on the series, a different executive slips anonymously into the rank-and-file for a close-up look at the inner workings of their corporation. For the upcoming episode, Abony adopted a disguise and worked alongside employees on the company's front line, in search of problems, opportunities and unsung heroes.
It was a rare chance to see his company from a new perspective. "I couldn't pass up the opportunity to step out of my role for a moment and work side-by-side with some of our front-line employees, learn about their experiences, their challenges and strengths and truly forge a personal connection," says Abony. "Because of this experience, Mood Media was able to impact a pretty significant and positive change for the company, which you'll have to tune in to see."
Mood Media is currently valued at $1.3 billion. It had sales of US$145 million in 2010—up by 72,384% since 2005, earning the firm top spot in 2011's PROFIT 200 ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing Companies. The firm's sales reached US$330 million in 2011, and it placed No. 2 on the 2012 PROFIT 200.
The company provides music, digital signage, messaging, social/mobile applications, location-based services and scent marketing to retail stores, hotels, restaurants and businesses such as McDonald's, Gucci, H&M, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike, Hilton Hotels and AT&T. Serving more than 560,000 commercial locations in 55 countries, Mood Media's products reach more than 150 million people every day.
Abony had half a dozen successful ventures under his belt prior to Mood Media, including an online pet supplies outfit and an encryption software enterprise. His online skills game site FUN Technologies, founded in 2001, managed to raise a remarkable $1 billion-plus in capital over 10 years. He also became the youngest CEO of a listed company on the TSE in 2004 and was named to the Globe and Mail's Top 40 under 40 in 2006.
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