Culture & Society

Aggie CEO Featured On ‘Undercover Boss’

Laurent Therivel, Texas A&M former student and CEO of UScellular, will appear on the popular CBS reality show Friday night.
By Luke Henkhaus, Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications March 4, 2022

UScellular CEO and former Texas A&M Student Laurent “LT” Therivel in his disguise for CBS’s “Undercover Boss”
UScellular CEO and former Texas A&M Student Laurent “LT” Therivel in his disguise for CBS’s “Undercover Boss”

Photo (L): Courtesy of UScellular
Photo (R): Studio Lambert


Texas A&M University former student Laurent “LT” Therivel is the latest business leader to be featured on the CBS reality show “Undercover Boss.”

See a preview from CBS.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, former Ross Volunteer and current CEO of telecommunications company UScellular, Therivel recently donned a disguise and spent some time on the front lines of his organization, working side-by-side with a few of his employees and learning about their lives along the way. In particular, Therivel said the experience allowed him to better understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among the company’s frontline workers.

“Learning more about people’s personal stories and personal journeys and what they’ve gone through over the last two years was very eye-opening for me,” he said.

For Therivel, who graduated from Texas A&M in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and later went on to work for such companies as AT&T before taking the top job at UScellular in 2020, the decision to participate in the show was “a no-brainer.”

“​​I took over as CEO right at the beginning of the pandemic, and I had no opportunity to get to know the team and get to know the company from the ground up,” Therivel said. “I was sort of stuck doing everything over Zoom. And over Zoom, you don’t really get a flavor for what it’s really like. This gave me an opportunity to do that in a particularly impactful and interesting way.”

Laurent Therivel sits down in his hotel room as a makeup artist begins to apply his disguise
Laurent Therivel sits down in his hotel room as a makeup artist begins to apply his disguise.

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Each morning during his time undercover, Therivel sat for an hour and half as crews applied his disguise. After that, he was ready to go out and experience a day in the life of one of his employees. From network operations to customer service and sales, there was no shortage of lessons to be learned, he said.

“Operationally, there’s always something you can learn,” Therivel said. “Culturally, I got to learn a lot about the business in that the associates I got to work with are so passionate, so invested in the company, so invested in the company’s mission, and I was incredibly proud of how they represented the business.”

Ultimately, Therivel said he is grateful for the perspective he gained over the course of his undercover experience, and he is excited to help highlight the stories of a few UScellular employees.

“The stars of the show are the associates that I’m shadowing, both in terms of what they teach me and in terms of their stories — what they’ve gone through in life and what they’ve overcome and what they’ve accomplished,” Therivel said. “I thought that was really cool to be part of.”

Reflecting on his time at Texas A&M, Therivel said the lessons he learned as a student have been key to his subsequent achievements in the military and private sector. Through both his coursework and his heavy involvement in the Corps of Cadets and student government, Therivel came to recognize the unique opportunities for participation and leadership that Texas A&M presents to its students.

“A&M was where I learned how to lead. A&M does such an incredible job of creating genuine leadership opportunities for students in every possible aspect of their career at A&M,” Therivel said. “I was constantly being challenged in a productive way by professors, by administrators, by leaders in the Corps, to find ways to take on more. I was never told ‘no, that’s not for a student to do.’”

To rise to the challenge of going undercover, Therivel also drew on the skills he picked up as an employee of another prominent College Station institution: Northgate’s famous Dry Bean Saloon.

“A good bartender is nothing if not an actor,” Therivel said. “Your job if you want to make tips is to make sure everybody around you has a good time. I don’t know if I knew I was learning to act, but certainly being a good Dry Bean bartender means you’ve got to act, and that probably prepared me more than I thought.”

The “Undercover Boss” episode featuring Therivel will air tonight on CBS at 7 p.m. CT and streaming on Paramount+.

Media contact: Lesley Henton,

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