DISH Network Founder Charlie Ergen will step down as president and CEO of the satellite broadcaster, the company has announced.

Joseph Clayton will replace Ergen beginning 20 June 2011. Clayton comes to the company with an impressive resume. Previous roles include chairman of Sirius XM and president of Global Crossing's North American division. as well as president and CEO of U.S. CLEC Frontier Communications and executive vice president of marketing and sales for the Americas and Asia for Thomson (now Technicolor).

"[My] working relationship with Charlie spans nearly 20 years, and I look forward to building on DISH Network's legacy of innovation and value in TV entertainment," Clayton said in a statement.

Ergen will continue on as chairman at DISH, meanimng that he will continue to play a strategic role in the company as it continues to reinvent its business model by collecting spectrum and buying up companies that can leapfrog it into new lines of business. Most notably that means Blockbuster, which could well give DISH a Netflix-like streaming business, and Move Networks, which is a specialist in adaptive streaming. DISH will use that technology to bring OTT content to set-top boxes, beginning in June. That will put the company in the forefront of embracing a hybrid content model in the United States.

With so many changes underway, it could be that the pay-TV operator feels the need to make a big change at the top to underpin them. However, DISH did not offer specifically the reasons for the management change.