Global Conference 2012
Chairman and Co-Founder, Dish Network
Charlie Ergen is chairman of Dish Network, which he co-founded in 1980 as EchoStar Communications Corp. Under his vision and leadership, Dish Network was launched in 1996 and has become the fastest-growing direct-to-home satellite television company in the U.S., currently serving more than 14.1 million customers. In 2008, EchoStar and Dish Network split into two separate publicly traded companies, with Ergen as chairman of both. In 2007, Barron's named Ergen one of the "World's Best CEOs"; he had previously been on the Forbes "Top Ten CEOs" list. Ergen was instrumental in fighting for consumer rights with the passage of the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act, which gave American consumers the right to watch local TV channels via satellite, and was a co-founder of the Satellite Broadcasting Communications Association. He received a B.S. from the University of Tennessee and an M.B.A from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.