Dish Network co-founder Charlie Ergen is stepping down from his role as CEO, a move that will see him segue to focus on the company’s growing wireless business. He will remain chairman, and Dish has upped president and chief operating officer Erik Carlson to president and CEO. Carlson, who has been at Dish since 1995, will continue to report to Ergen.
“With more than 20 years’ experience at Dish, Erik brings a complete understanding of the business opportunities both Dish TV and Sling TV possess,” Ergen said in a company press release announcing the moves. “I have every confidence that under Erik’s leadership our new organizational structure will deliver value for Dish TV and Sling TV and will aid our entry into wireless.”
Dish’s stock price bumped up on the news this morning before pulling back; it remains up a fraction.
Dish via Ergen has been active in amassing rights to terrestrial wireless spectrum, and over the summer came reports that it is seeking alliances with companies, specifically Amazon. Ergen told analysts in May he expects to build — “with or without partners” — what he calls “a new narrowband [Internet of Things] network that doesn’t exist today.”d to remotely monitor, and often control, things including health, home appliances, pets or farm animals, manufacturing, electrical systems, and environmental activity.
With Ergen’s shift, Dish said today it is restructuring to support its Dish TV, Sling TV and wireless businesses. Brian Neylon, formerly EVP Customer Acquisition and Retention, becomes EVP, Group President, Dish TV. Warren Schlichting, formerly EVP Marketing, Programming and Media Sales, becomes EVP, Group President, Sling TV. EVP John Swieringa will succeed Carlson as COO.
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.
All report to Carlson.