Charlie Ergen steps down from EchoStar
Chris Forrester

EchoStar's founder and president/CEO Charlie Ergen has stepped down.

This surprising news affects EchoStar Corp only. Ergen stays at the top of its sister company Dish Network Corp. He will also stay on as Chairman of EchoStar Corp. Ergen was born in 1953. With Jim DeFranco and his wife Candy, he founded EchoStar which in those early days targeted rural and semi-rural viewers of satellite TV.

Ergen is fabulousely wealthy, with Forbes placing him as being worth £4.9bn (although this is significantly down over the past few years). At one stage Forbes placed him as the 34th richest person on the plant with a net worth of more than $9bn.

Taking over from him is fellow board member Michael Dugan. Dugan, who had been in semi-retirement, is extremely familiar with the duties, as he served as EchoStar's president/COO for 14 years (from 1990 to 2004).