Colorado-based Dish Network, the second largest satellite broadcaster in the United States, has welcomed a new CEO and president, after Charlie Ergen bequeathed his position.
Ergen, who established the company and is a controlling shareholder, will still remain as chairman of the firm.
Clayton assumed his new post on June 20. The former president of Sirius Satellite Radio, Clayton has also served as board of directors of EchoStar Corp, another company by Ergen.
Dish Network recently made several acquisitions including the Liberty Bell telecom, DBSD North America Inc., and Blockbuster Inc., all of which were completed this year.
After completing these transactions, Ergen had realized that he wanted to bring other people into the executive ranks of the company, Clayton told Denver Business Journal in an interview.
“He knows he can’t do everything,” he said.
The series of acquisitions made by Dish Network excites him on assuming the post and becoming an active chief executive again. “And when Dish acquired Blockbuster, that tipped me over the edge,” added Clayton.
Clayton has also served executive stints at telecoms Frontier and Global Crossing, television set-top box makers Thomson and RCA, and General Electric.
Dish Network’s acquisition spree puts it in position for expansion of technology and services during a time when the means of accessing programs are increasing and TV viewing habits are starting to change.
Dish Network also plans to offer Liberty Bell wireline broadband to Coloradans starting in June. This will serve as a test if it is sensible to offer broadband to consumers elsewhere, it said.
The acquisition of Blockbuster provides the company with hundreds of stores located across the country and abroad from which it can promote the company’s other services and offer DVD rentals and movie rentals through its numerous on-street kiosks. The purchase of DBSD also provides Dish Network with broadcast licenses to offer phone services and mobile broadband.
Analysts said the CEO change is a positive move from the company as it will enable Ergen to concentrate on long-term strategies.
“We do not view this as a sign that Charlie is ‘giving up’ on the satellite business,” wrote senior equities analyst Marci Ryvicker in a note. “In fact, we view this announcement as a big positive from a timing perspective — to us, it means that Dish is in good enough shape for Charlie to feel comfortable handing over the reins to someone else.”