Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen received 41% pay raise in 2017 despite 20% stock slide

Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen received a 41% pay increase in 2017, raising his salary to $2.446 million, despite a 20% decline in stock price for the satellite TV operator in the fiscal year.

The revelation was made yesterday in an SEC proxy filing by Dish. 

Even with his raise, Ergen’s salary is hardly conspicuous in the pay TV industry. For example, following a $98.5 million windfall in 2016 that was driven by deal points related to Charter Communications M&A, company Chairman and CEO Tom Rutledge saw his 2017 salary sliced to $7.8 million. 

Ergen’s compensation increase is conspicuous, however, given Dish’s Wall Street struggles—the Englewood, Colorado-based telecom’s share price is down another 20% since January 1. 

Dish shares have hit 52-week lows almost daily in recent weeks. The stock has now underperformed the S&P 500 by more than 50 percentage points over the past year.

And notably, the company lost nearly 1 million users in 2017 to its most profitable service, satellite TV.

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In December, Ergen ceded his role as CEO of Dish to then-COO Erik Carlson, who took home $1.5 million last year, a decline of 61% from 2016, when he was compensated with $3.8 million largely based on bigger stock option awards. 

Other salaries listed in the proxy filing included Dish CTO Vivek Khemka, who took home $1.247 million in 2017.