Dish’s troubles continue with more job cuts, departure of retail head

  • Dish filed notice that it is laying off 53 employees

  • Mike Kelly, head of the retail wireless group, resigned

  • Dish has been the subject of a lot of bankruptcy talk this year

Dish Network is not catching any breaks as it tries to refinance its debt, build a competitive 5G network and establish itself as a real player in the wireless retail game.

This week, reports emerged that Michael Kelly, who Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen hired last year to shore up its wireless retail group, has resigned. His last day will be February 29, a Dish spokesman confirmed.  

“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 company stated.

Kelly did not last all that long this second time around. He originally joined Dish in 2000 through its acquisition of Kelly Broadcasting Systems, which he founded in 1991. For a while, he served as president of Dish’s Blockbuster unit. He returned to Dish last April as group president of retail wireless, overseeing sales, marketing, strategy and operations of the retail wireless brands.

More layoffs

His resignation comes as more job cuts are underway. Dish notified the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment on Tuesday that it will be laying off employees at its Englewood and Littleton, Colorado, locations. The positions include mostly sales account executives but also data scientists, wireless engineers and one program manager.

“After a thorough review of our operations and consideration of a changing business environment, we made the difficult decision to remove 53 positions in our company,” the company said in a statement. “Today’s decision reflects our focus on improving company performance in an evolving marketplace, and we will continue to make strategic hires and investments to support our growth.”

Layoffs at Dish have become happening as the company continues to lose Boost Mobile customers and tries to complete its 5G network buildout.

On Thursday, Dish announced that its Boost Wireless network is now available with Voice over New Radio (VoNR), or 5G voice, to more than 200 million Americans nationwide.

The milestone “affirms Dish’s steadfast commitment to provide Americans with more options for connectivity as the 4th nationwide wireless carrier,” the company said.

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