Dish Network founder Charlie Ergen brought Michael Kelly back to the company to head up Dish's wireless retail efforts. But Kelly has resigned, and now Dish is looking for a replacement.

Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies

February 21, 2024

2 Min Read
Dish Michael Kelly
Kelly(Source: Dish)

Another top executive at Dish Network is heading for the exit. Michael Kelly, the head of Dish's wireless retail efforts, quit the company.

"Michael Kelly, EVP and group president of Retail Wireless, has resigned," Dish confirmed to Light Reading. "His last day will be February 29th, 2024. We appreciate his hard work and commitment to our business. While we conduct a search for his successor, Hamid Akhavan, president and CEO of EchoStar, will lead strategy and key day-to-day operations for the retail wireless brands."

The move represents yet another blow to Dish, which is struggling to finance its shift from a satellite-based, pay-TV company to a 5G network provider.

Dish founder Charlie Ergen brought Kelly back into Dish less than a year ago. Kelly previously oversaw Dish's now-shuttered Blockbuster business. In April, Kelly returned to the company to head up the sales, marketing, go-to-market strategy and operations of Dish's retail wireless brands, which span Boost Mobile, Boost Infinite and Gen Mobile. Kelly took over Dish's wireless retail business from Stephen Stokols.

Kelly joins a large and growing number of executives to leave Dish's wireless business. Others include Stephen Bye, Dave Mayo and Jonathan Sipling.

Dish so far has spent roughly $6 billion to build a 5G network covering around 240 million Americans. The company is competing against the likes of Verizon, AT&T, Charter Communications and others in the US wireless industry. But Dish has struggled to stop customers from leaving its mobile business, with its total customer base sitting at 7.5 million at the end of the third quarter, down from around 9 million when it first acquired the business from T-Mobile. Dish is also facing debt payments that it has not yet been able to address.

Dish's parent company EchoStar has not yet said when it will release its fourth quarter earnings report.

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About the Author(s)

Mike Dano

Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading

Mike Dano is Light Reading's Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies. Mike can be reached at [email protected], @mikeddano or on LinkedIn.

Based in Denver, Mike has covered the wireless industry as a journalist for almost two decades, first at RCR Wireless News and then at FierceWireless and recalls once writing a story about the transition from black and white to color screens on cell phones.

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