Dish Network Founder Charlie Ergen Stepping Back Into CEO Role

Company chairman will also reclaim the title of president, succeeding the retiring Joe Clayton

Charlie Ergen Dish Network
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Dish Network president and CEO Joe Clayton will retire on March 31, handing the reins of those day-to-day top jobs and titles back to company co-founder and chairman Charlie Ergen, the company said on Monday.

Clayton took on the post in June 2011. Prior to joining the company, Clayton served as chairman of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. from November 2004 through July 2008.

“Over the last four years, Joe’s leadership has been instrumental to Dish as we have worked to engineer a fundamental transformation of our business,” said Ergen. “He has set the stage for what will become a new company, and with that he has prepared a new class of management to address the adventures coming our way.”

When the time comes, Ergen’s direct reports will include COO Bernie Han, general counsel Stanton Dodge, chief human resources officer Mike McClaskey, head of corporate development Tom Cullen and Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch.

Ergen co-founded Dish more than 30 years ago and currently acts as chairman of the company and EchoStar. In June 2011, he stepped down from his role as Dish’s president and chief executive officer to focus on long-term business development and acquisition tactics in an effort to reach new markets, expand product and service offerings and bolster the company’s customer base.

Dish also released its fourth quarter earnings early Monday morning, easily topping Wall Street’s earnings per share estimates but falling shy per the revenue forecasts.

The satellite TV company lost subscribers from last year, but had higher related revenue and a stronger profit.

“This team has done what it said it would – our operations are stronger, our leadership is deeper, our outlook is as positive as it ever has been,” Clayton said in a statement. “We were able to launch the Hopper, dishNet and Sling TV, navigate two spectrum auctions and deliver for our customers throughout. All of it was with great success — I am proud to have served with such a remarkable team.”

On the company’s earnings call, Ergen said he doesn’t plan on staying in the role of president indefinitely.