Vivint CEO Todd Pedersen Welcomed Into SSI Industry Hall of Fame
Pedersen acquired APX Alarm in 1999 and renamed it Vivint in 2011.
Todd Pedersen — CEO Vivint
Why He’s on the List
- A maverick who brought new, aggressive and game-changing business approaches to residential security installation and monitoring industry that resulted in explosive growth
- Introduced highly successful sales & marketing strategies he picked up working for pest control companies to home security and control systems
- Initially vilified by industry’s old guard, initiated concept of building a direct-marketing/ direct-selling company using a traditional, door-to-door approach that had not been attempted in the alarm industry on a mass basis
- Acquired APX Alarm in 1999, renamed it Vivint in 2011 and about a year later investors Blackstone Group paid $2 billion for it
- Along the way guided the business to seize opportunities, take chances and think outside proverbial box with unique products like the Vivint Doorbell Camera and the recently sold Vivint Solar business
- Today, Vivint is one of the largest and most progressive smart home technology companies with more than 1 million customers in North America
Keys to Success
“When I dropped out of school my dad drove to Utah to have a heart-to-heart. He said: ‘First, CEO, Vivint if you’re going to run a company, you have to provide the best service you possibly can for your customers. Second, you have to treat your employees like gold. Do these two things and everything else will work itself out.’ That advice has driven me to build a company customers and employees could be proud of.”
THE PEDERSEN FILE
- Born in 1968 in Seattle
- The fourth of 11 siblings, father was a dentist and grandfather was mayor of Idaho Falls
- Married to wife Andie, with five children including a set of twins
- Left BYU at 22 years old to pursue building a business
- Wore T-shirt with a collage of headshots of those who said it couldn’t be done when the opening NYSE bell rang for Vivint Solar
- Was featured in TV’s “Undercover Boss” in 2015, donning a wig and colored contacts
- Says he eventually hopes to teach business and entrepreneur classes
- Other interests included “hanging out with my family,” racing trucks and competing in the Baja 1,000 off-road auto race
Take Care of Your People
“I’m really driven to give our employees the best possible experience, and I think during the trying times you have to understand and focus on their needs. You can’t do anything without great people surrounding you and being motivated to accomplish what you’ve set out to do. We have developed an incredible culture at Vivint, and I really care about the people I work with. When times get tough, I try to consider what’s best for them and that helps me to stay grounded and make the best decisions.”
Connected, Committed to Community
“I feel indebted to the Utah community for providing me with a place to create and scale a business. To that end, I think it’s very important to give back and stay involved in the community. In 2008, we founded a charity foundation called Vivint Gives Back whose mission is to enhance the lives of children with intellectual disabilities through simple, intelligent products and services delivered by people who care. Through this organization, we have been able to help the Utah community by installing sensory rooms for families with children with disabilities, helping support organizations with the same mission, among other things. We also host yearly ‘Sub for Santa’ fundraisers for local schools with students in need.”
Passion, Vision and Execution
“As an entrepreneur, challenges sprout up daily, one of which is being told ‘no’ as you try to build the company you envision. In 2011, we were preparing to launch our residential solar company, Vivint Solar. Not only did the ‘smartest’ venture capitalists pass on the opportunity to invest, but even our current backers at the time passed. Although our own partners witnessed firsthand that we could build an enormously successful company – and put a whole lot more money than they invested back in their pockets – they didn’t think we could do it again in an adjacent market. We had to work extra hard to find firms that saw our vision and were willing to back us. Vivint Solar went public three years later with a $1.6 billion IPO. You will always be challenged and face naysayers, no matter your track record. That’s when it’s time to get all hands on deck and prove the haters wrong.”
Stop at Nothing to Satisfy Customers
“We’re working to make customers’ lives easier. As technology advances to provide better communication, along with increased safety and wellbeing, we want to be on the forefront of providing that value for our customers. If we can’t find another company or partner to help us do this, then we’ll build the technology and offer the services ourselves. For example, several years ago our existing panel provider refused to listen to some new ideas so we created our own Vivint SkyControl panel that is the hub of the smart home. Vivint is also the only vertically integrated company, owning every aspect of the customer lifecycle including sales, professional installation, service, billing, monitoring and customer support. This allows us to ensure they have a consistent, positive experience at every stage.”
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