Joe Clayton, president and CEO, Dish Network
It's unusual for us to call the CEO of a company a "rising star," let alone one with 39 years of experience in the telecom and consumer electronics industry. But in the wireless world, Joe Clayton, president and CEO of Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), is a rising star because Dish is a relative newcomer.
The company, however, is quickly making a name for itself in wireless thanks to the fact that it now controls 40 MHz of MSS S-band spectrum that was renamed AWS-4 and repurposed for terrestrial mobile broadband. Dish plans to use that spectrum to build a nationwide LTE Advanced network starting in 2016. This network could potentially challenge incumbents like AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and leverage Dish's established strengths providing Internet and TV services.
But that's not all that Dish has up its sleeve. The company made another startling move in the industry last month by making an unsolicited offer to purchase Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) for approximately $3.30 per share. The deal competes with a previous bid for the company by majority shareholder Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which bid $2.2 billion, or $2.97 per share, in December.
Dish has been fairly mum on the deal but has indicated it wants to acquire Clearwire spectrum covering approximately 11.4 billion MHz-POPs, which is approximately 24 percent of Clearwire's total spectrum holdings. As part of the agreement, Clearwire could sell or lease an additional 2 MHz of its spectrum to Dish and it could also provide certain services such as network management, construction and maintenance for a network in Dish's AWS-4 spectrum.
Although financial analysts have said that Dish's bid is unlikely to succeed, it certainly is a bold move for this firm. There are many unknowns about Dish's future in the wireless industry, but one thing is sure, under Clayton's leadership Dish will keep the wireless industry guessing.
- Joe Clayton, president and CEO, Dish Network