EchoStar President Resigns

EchoStar Communications Corp. president and chief operating officer Michael Neuman resigned effective Monday, the direct-broadcast satellite provider disclosed in a securities filing.

Vice chairman Carl Vogel and chief technical officer Michael Dugan, the company’s former president and COO, will assume Neuman’s responsibilities, EchoStar said in an 8-K filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company wouldn’t comment on the departure of Neuman, who was hired by chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen last June to oversee day-to-day operations.

In a report Tuesday, UBS Warburg LLC analyst Aryeh Bourkoff wrote that Neuman’s exit could be related to Vogel taking a larger operating role at EchoStar since he joined its board last May.

Newman’s departure also “could be related to disagreements over the company’s potential wireless-broadband strategy,” according to Bourkoff.

EchoStar and its DBS rival, DirecTV Inc., have discussed teaming up to provide wireless-Internet service.

Before joining EchoStar, Neuman was president of Bell Mobility, the wireless subsidiary of Bell Canada Enterprises, and he had previously been president of Bell ExpressVu, the Canadian DBS operator.

When Ergen appointed Neuman last June, he also put Vogel, who’d been an EchoStar director since May, in the vice chairman slot.

A onetime EchoStar president and COO, Vogel left Charter Communications Inc. as CEO a year ago “by mutual agreement” with its board (and with a separation package) 11 months before his contract expired.

Vogel was EchoStar’s president and COO from 1994-97. He went to work for Charter chairman Paul Allen in 2001, replacing Jerald Kent, who left after a falling out with Allen.