Charlie Ergen Steps Down As Dish CEO To Focus On Wireless Biz

Marco Green
December 6, 2017

Charlie Ergen is stepping down as Dish CEO, relinquishing the company's top executive position to president and chief operating officer Erik Carlson.

Ergen's focus on wireless comes as Sling TV, and new rivals like PlayStation Vue and DirecTV Now, are moving beyond targeting cord cutters and cord nevers to becoming alternatives to traditional cable and satellite TV packages.

Dish, which has been bleeding pay TV subscribers for several years, is hoping to pivot into a new business segment since, unlike other pay TV providers, Dish doesn't have a broadband business to bolster future earnings.

Under Carlson, who had been president and COO, Dish will take on a group structure built around Dish TV, Sling TV and the company's wireless business.

Charlie Ergen, the co-founder and owner of United States pay-TV provider Dish Network, is stepping down as CEO of the company in order to focus on developing Dish's wireless business. Dish spent $6.2 billion on wireless spectrum during an FCC auction earlier this year.

Dish's hoarding of spectrum assets makes it an attractive target for a telecom major, analysts said after the collapse of merger talks between T-Mobile and Sprint. Ergen only even stepped back into the chief executive officer job two years ago.

Executive vice president John Swieringa will succeed Carlson in the company's COO role. Schlichting also will retain oversight of the Dish Media Sales and Programming departments. Brian Neylon will serve as Group President of Dish TV, in addition to his current duties of head of customer acquisition and retention, andWarren Schlichting, formerly EVP of Marketing, Programming and Media Sales, will become Group President for Sling TV.

EVP and Chief Technology Officer Vivek Khemka also joins Carlson's leadership team, and the company hired Walmart veteran and human resources executive David Scott as Chief Human Resources Officer.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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