Charlie Ergen to Step Down as Dish CEO

He’ll focus on wireless business, company says, while Erik Carlson takes the top executive position

Last Updated: December 5, 2017 @ 7:26 AM

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

Ergen, who handed that “president” title over to Carlson in 2015, will now focus his efforts on the wireless business going forward, per Dish. Ergen stepped back into the chief executive officer job two years ago.

“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 on Tuesday morning. “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.”

Executive vice president John Swieringa will succeed Carlson in the company’s COO role. Additionally, Brian Neylon will serve as executive vice president and group president of Dish TV, and Warren Schlichting will serve as EVP and group president of Sling TV.  EVP and chief technology officer Vivek Khemka also joins Carlson’s leadership team.

In addition to restructuring the current executive group, Dish has appointed Walmart veteran David Scott to the role of chief human resources officer. He joins in February.

Each of the above will report directly to Carlson, as will EVP and general counsel Tim Messner, SVP and chief financial officer Steve Swain, and Corporate Communications vice president Robert Toevs.

For his part, Carlson will actually continue to report to Ergen.

Under the new structure Ergen’s direct reports also include Corporate Development executive vice president Tom Cullen, Strategic Planning EVP Bernie Han, and Public Policy and Government Affairs senior vice president Jeff Blum.

Carlson has been with the satellite-TV company since 1995.