Echostar’s CFO ankles

McDonnell's departure from company a surprise

No. 2 satcaster EchoStar lost a top exec Thursday: Chief financial officer Michael McDonnell is ankling.

Revealed in an SEC filing, exec’s departure from the Charlie Ergen-controlled company came as a surprise. However, timing may have been related to recent reports that EchoStar is planning a $1 billion issuance of bonds in the junk market soon. Revealing exec’s pending departure, timed for Aug. 13, helps company stay in compliance with all related disclosure rules.

An EchoStar rep wouldn’t comment on the bond reports. Company put out a brief statement about McDonnell’s departure, saying, “We are disappointed that our CFO, Michael McDonnell, has decided to relocate to the East Coast for personal reasons. We wish him the best in his new career and we will begin a search for his replacement with the goal of finding someone equally capable.”

Analysts speculated that rumors of his departure may have contributed to the recent weakness in EchoStar stock, which closed up slightly at $27.35 Wednesday.

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