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Charlie Ergen To Reclaim Dish’s CEO Spot, Focus on the Wireless Industry

February 23, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Dish’s current CEO, Joe Clayton, will be leaving his post at the end of March. Which means Charlie Ergen, Dish’s Chairman and Founder, will be taking over as CEO again. Ergen relinquished his CEO position back in 2011, to focus on areas of growth for his business. One of those being the wireless industry. As we all know, Dish has been buying up spectrum left and right and taking part in the spectrum auctions as well. Dish and their partners have over 75MHz of spectrum from spectrum auctions and buyouts. T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere, last week stated that he’d be into working with Dish for licensing spectrum for his carrier to use. AT&T also stated last week that they weren’t too happy with Dish. Basically saying it’s unfair for Dish to be buying up spectrum and not deploying it.

In an interview with the WSJ, Ergen stated that the wireless industry was still in it’s infancy, and he believes that it’s going to grow even more in the next 5 years. With wearables and even cars, being added to networks, I can’t say I disagree with Mr. Ergen here. “Some people in the [wireless industry] today run the business as a mature business, but behind the scenes they clearly see that this thing has got another 50 years to go,” Ergen said.

Ergen has also indicated that he may now be the CEO of Dish for long. Adding that he’s “not afraid to fire himself again.” Which I think is important for a founder to be able to do. If things aren’t going right, it’s time to give someone else the CEO title, or in Ergen’s case, he wants to focus on other areas of expansion for Dish. Hopefully Dish finds out a way to get their spectrum deployed or licensed with some of the other carriers around here. Will be really interesting to see what Dish is planning to do with all this spectrum. Remember, they failed to pick up Sprint a few years ago, when Masayoshi Son from Softbank proved he had a bigger check book. So Dish has been looking to get into the wireless industry for quite some time.