EchoStar Names Dugan CEO, As Ergen Remains Chairman

EchoStar announced that Michael Dugan has been named the company's president and CEO, positions formerly held by Charlie Ergen, who will remain chairman of EchoStar as well as Dish Network's chairman, president and CEO.

Dugan, 60, currently serves on the EchoStar board and previously served in several executive roles -- including president and chief operating officer -- at the combined company from 1990 to 2004.

Dish Network and EchoStar, which sells set-top hardware and satellite-transmission services, became separate entities in January 2008. Durgan had served as a senior advisor to EchoStar since its spinoff from Dish.

"Mike was the chief architect behind the technological foundation for EchoStar and Dish Network, and I am pleased to welcome him back into the company he helped build," Ergen said in a statement. "Having Mike on board, along with the current executive management, establishes a highly seasoned team for leading EchoStar's endeavors in deploying advanced set-top box technologies and delivering satellite services worldwide."

Dish remains EchoStar's single biggest customer, accounting for 83% of its $1.3 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2009. Its only other notable customer is Canda's Bell TV (formerly known as Dish Network Canada), which represented 11% of revenue over that time period.

EchoStar in 2007 acquired Sling Media, maker of the "place-shifting" Slingbox device. The company is now trying to sell Slingbox-enabled set-tops to cable operators and other TV distributors.Dish Network recently applied for a trademark on the "TV Everywhere," which it apparently will use to promote its forthcoming Slingbox-enabled DVRs developed by EchoStar.

Dugan began working for Ergen in 1990, holding various positions with EchoStar and its subsidiaries over the years. Dugan began his EchoStar career as vice president of engineering for the subsidiary that later became EchoStar Technologies.

From May 2004 to December 2007, he was a director of Dish Network, and served Dish Network alternately as chief technical officer and senior advisor at different times. Dugan also served as a director of Dish Network from May 2002 until May 2003.