If you follow the broadcasting space at all, you likely saw the recent news that DISH Network has replaced their CEO. So what does that mean? Who is the CEO now? Why the change? Let’s take a closer look at what exactly happened, and what that means for DISH Network moving forward.
For over a decade Charlie Ergen served as the chief executive officer of DISH Network and chair of DISH Network. Charlie is actually one of the original co-founders of DISH Network. Recently he announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of DISH, but not to retire. In fact, Charlie is stepping down as CEO so that he can spend more time focusing on growing the company’s emerging wireless business.
So, who is in charge now? DISH decided to promote from within. Erik Carlson, formerly chief operating officer of DISH is now taking over CEO duties. Ergen’s press release speaks to the prestigious qualifications that Carlson brings to the table: “With more than 20 years’ experience at DISH, Erik brings a complete understanding of the business opportunities both DISH TV and Sling TV possess. 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.”.
As Mashable points out, DISH has good reason to focus on accelerating the pace of their emerging wireless business due to the FCC’s use-it-or-lose-it requirement. This requirement basically means that DISH must launch a service on its spectrum by 2020, or they’ll lose the opportunity to do so.
This focus on wireless doesn’t necessarily mean that DISH plans on stepping out completely on their own. Given that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger talks have come to an end, it is now far more likely that DISH can form a partnership with one of them to take advantage of their existing wireless infrastructure.
Yes, DISH has switched up their CEO’s but that’s not a sign of trouble, it’s a strategic move to maximize their wireless ambitions. While it’s impossible to know exactly what form that will take, it’s a safe bet that something will happen soon. DISH spent a good chunk of change for those frequencies, and needs to do something with them.