W. Erik Carlson, Dish

Years in Industry: 25

Education: Bradley University

DISH’s long history as a nemesis to cable may be most associated with folksy founder Charlie Ergen, but make no mistake: W. Erik Carlson has been there since the beginning of DISH’s rise to prominence in the mid-1990s, and he’s still doing his part to create value amid unprecedented competition from Silicon Valley and cable’s big advantage as a broadband pipe. To be sure, DISH faces challenges related to changing consumer behavior, “cord cutting” during the pandemic and a tough competitive environment for Sling TV, but Carlson has a lot of tricks up his sleeve including a 5G strategy to leverage DISH’s spectrum, the Hopper and other innovative assets. DISH lives to compete. And cable execs know that better than anyone.

The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed my perspective on:
What it means to serve customers as a government-designated “essential business.”

Without sports on TV, I have…
Enjoyed completing puzzles with my family. We always have a new puzzle going in our kitchen, and it’s been a great way to come together, chat and reduce a little stress.

What about travel used to annoy you but that now you actually miss?
DISH has team members located all over the US, and meeting them face to face is one of the best parts of my job. While air travel can sometimes be a hassle, I really miss getting to visit our sites and meet the great people who are the lifeblood of our company.

The future of broadband is…
5G. At DISH, we are committed to bringing full, standalone 5G to America, delivering unparalleled innovation that will benefit US consumers and enterprises.

Last content I streamed:

Last show binged not on your networks:
“Waco” on Netflix. While not on our network in the traditional sense, we have a great partnership with Netflix that makes it easy to stream their content from our Hopper platform.

Honored For: