×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Charlie Ergen Steps Down as Dish CEO to Focus on Wireless Business

Erik Carlson named president/CEO amid larger shake-up of senior management team

Dish Network announced that chairman Charlie Ergen has “relinquished” the role of CEO to focus on the company’s emerging wireless business, amid a larger reshuffling of the Dish senior management team.

Replacing Ergen at the helm is Erik Carlson, who has been named president and CEO. Previously, Carlson was president and COO. Carlson, who joined the satellite TV operator in 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 statement. “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.”

Since 2008, Dish has spent more than $11 billion to acquire wireless spectrum licenses and related assets and invested over $10 billion for non-controlling stakes in various wireless entities.

In March 2017, Dish notified the FCC that it plans to deploy a 5G-capable wireless network focused on supporting narrowband Internet of Things (IoT) applications for connecting remote devices. The company said the first phase of the network deployment will be completed by March 2020 — in order to meet the FCC’s “use it or lose it” deadline for Dish-owned spectrum licenses.

Along with Carlson’s appointment as CEO, Dish announced other executive changes Tuesday:

  • Warren Schlichting will head up Sling TV as EVP and group president; previously, Schlichting was EVP of marketing, programming and media sales. In the new role, he will continue to oversee Dish’s media sales and programming departments. Former Sling TV chief Roger Lynch departed in August to join Pandora as president and CEO.
  • Brian Neylon will oversee Dish TV as EVP and group president. He was formerly EVP of customer acquisition and retention, and will continue to oversee those departments.
  • John Swieringa succeeds Carlson as COO, overseeing all operational departments supporting the company’s Dish TV, Sling TV and wireless groups.
  • David Scott, a 20-year veteran of Walmart who most recently was SVP of talent and organizational effectiveness at the retailer, has joined Dish as chief human resources officer. He will serve Dish as an EVP and will join Dish’s management committee in February, reporting to Carlson. Scott takes over for Mike McClaskey, Dish’s previous head of HR, who departed the company in May.
  • Vivek Khemka, EVP and chief technology officer, is joining Carlson’s executive leadership team.

Carlson’s other direct reports are Tim Messner, EVP and general counsel; CFO Steve Swain; and Bob Toevs, VP of corporate communications.

Dish execs reporting directly to Ergen, who remains chairman, are Carlson; Tom Cullen, EVP of corporate development; Bernie Han, EVP of strategic planning; and Jeff Blum, SVP of public policy and government affairs.

More Biz

  • Biggest Scandals Feuds and Apologies of

    Biggest Scandals, Feuds and Apologies of 2019

    Variety looks back on some of the biggest scandals, feuds and apologies of 2019: College Admissions Scandal Wealthy parents including Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were charged with bribing school officials to get their unqualified kids into prestigious universities. Shane Gillis Executives at “SNL” hired, then fired, Gillis in September, before the new season started, [...]

  • Biggest Media Moments of 2019

    From 'Catch & Kill' to Shepard Smith: The Biggest Media Moments of 2019

    Variety looks back on some of the most memorable media events of 2019: ‘Catch & Kill’ Reopens Wounds at NBC News Ronan Farrow’s book relitigates his complaints that NBC News tried to tamp down his investigation of harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. NBC News denies the claim. The book contains new allegations against [...]

  • Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division nominee

    DOJ Sides With Irving Azoff Against Radio Stations

    The Department of Justice is taking sides in another hot-button antitrust battle, this time siding with Irving Azoff’s upstart music licensing firm against a group representing 10,000 radio stations. The DOJ Antitrust Division filed a brief on Thursday arguing that the Radio Music License Committee may have engaged in illegal price-fixing when it refused to [...]

  • Best Books of 2019

    The Best Books of 2019

    Whether you experience stressful days due to your professional position, your demanding family, or simply the barrage of never-ending depressing news, there is often no better way to unwind than with a good book. Letting your imagination wander into a new world unlike your own can be exciting, it can be thought-provoking, but perhaps most [...]

  • Makan Delrahim

    Antitrust Experts Decry DOJ's 'Outrageous' Stance in Writers Guild Case

    Several experts on antitrust law have expressed concern at the stance taken by the Department of Justice in the ongoing legal feud between Hollywood writers and their agents. Three agencies have sued the Writers Guild of America for alleged violations of antitrust law. A key hearing will be held in federal court on Friday, as [...]

  • Bob Bakish Viacom CEO

    Shares of ViacomCBS Dip in First-Day Early Trading

    Shares of the newly combined ViacomCBS were off in early trading, a sign that Wall Street continues to look for new signs of growth after two of the best-known names in entertainment merged to vie with bigger rivals. Shares of the company’s new common stock were off 59 cents, or 1.38%, in late-morning trading on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content