A month after it was announced that two Charlie Ergen-controlled companies would trade assets, EchoStar confirmed that it will cut around 100 employees.
Another 1,800 workers, meanwhile, will be shifted over to Dish Network, which acquired set-top manufacturing and additional components to the Sling TV virtual MPVD business in the swap.
“EchoStar implemented a small reduction in force in late January, in response to recent changes in the marketplace,” said Michael T. Dugan, CEO and president of EchoStar Corporation, in a statement e-mailed to The Denver Post. “This reduction in force has impacted fewer than 100 of our nearly 4000 employees. We came to this decision after a careful review of our options, realizing a number of good people would be affected.”
Under terms of the swap, Dish received a development group focused on Sling TV and software technology. It also acquired a unit focused on set-top box development. Other assets moving over to Dish include those focused on satellite uplink and fiber-optic backhaul for Dish Network’s transmissions.
As for EchoStar’s compensation, it will receive the 80% interest Dish holds in the Hughes Retail Group, a consumer satellite broadband services operation within EchoStar.
Charlie Ergen is founder and controlling shareholder for both businesses, which operate out of Douglas County, Colorado.
Ergen founded EchoStar along with Jim DeFranco in 1980. In 1995, satellite TV services unit Dish Network was off from EchoStar, which was left with satellite and set-top technology operations.
Macquarie Group analyst Andrew DeGasperi told the Post that divesting the declining set-top business — which includes the phased-out Slingbox unit — will help EchoStar attract a buyer.
“I think EchoStar is positioning themselves by simplifying their corporate structure and simplifying their business to something transformative down the line,” he said.