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Oprah Showcases 7-Eleven's Joe DePinto

DALLAS -- 7-Eleven Inc. CEO Joe DePinto appeared on "Oprah" yesterday, discussing his experience going undercover as a store employee named "Danny."

The CEO went undercover as part of CBS's new reality series "Undercover Boss," which follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank and file of their companies. DePinto went undercover last October on a mission to examine the inner workings of the company, and told Oprah the experience took him back to when he worked at a KFC.

"It taught me how hard our folks work, day in and day out. They work much harder than I do," he said.

During an overnight shift at one store, one employee remarked, "Danny" seems "nice, but doesn't work very hard." DePinto said he had to focus on keeping his energy up as he cleaned the store and stocked merchandise.

At a store in Shirley, N.Y., which sells 2,500 cups of coffee a day, DePinto had difficulty keeping up with business. He credited the booming coffee sales to associate Dolores, an 18-year veteran, whose friendliness and positive, can-do attitude keeps customers coming back.

Also, after seeing the day's leftover doughnuts being thrown away, he vowed to change corporate policy to work more closely with local food banks to make sure food did not go to waste.

DePinto told his colleagues he enjoyed the visit to the "Oprah" set and called the hostess "very gracious."
Undercover Boss debuts following the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 7, 10 p.m. Eastern Time. The episode featuring DePinto is tentatively scheduled to air on Sunday, Feb. 21.

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