- Dish Network announced two major technology appointments — chief information officer and chief digital officer — in November, a big leadership shuffle for the television provider.
- Atilla Tinic will join the company as SVP and CIO, reporting directly to Dish Executive VP and COO John Swieringa, according to a company announcement. Tinic comes to Dish from CenturyLink, where he served as SVP of IT. At Dish, he will be responsible for IT strategy and operations for the company's wireless, Sling TV and DISH TV groups.
- Suma Nallapati will join the company as SVP and CDO, reporting directly to Tinic, according to an announcement. In mid-January she will leave her current position as Colorado's secretary of technology and state CIO — for which she was named "CIO of the Year" by the state's technology association — to join Dish and lead application delivery and digital strategy for support systems including sales, e-commerce, billing and customer and partner management.
Nallapati is coming full circle with the new role as CDO: She began her IT career at Dish in the '90s as a programmer. But the pay-TV provider is facing more tumultuous market conditions than when she started.
The company's third quarter earnings, reported in early November, showed significant decline in subscribers.
More customers moving from satellite providers — "cord cutting" — to cheaper internet streaming services are presenting incumbent television providers with new challenges. Dish's revenue has been steadily declining year-over-year for two years.
Looking to counter steady subscriber losses, Dish Network began offering streaming services through its SlingTV offering, a similar move taken by several competitors, according to Market Realist. But growth has been sluggish with stiff competition from top streaming providers such as Netflix and Amazon.
A seamless, smooth customer experience is critical as the company vies for sustainability in the entertainment market. Enter the CIO, CDO and technology stack. Tinic brings two decades of IT architecture, data management and system engineering experience, most recently from telecommunications company CenturyLink.
Technology leaders in profitable, innovative companies can still sometimes struggle to get the funding, resources and approval needed to not only sustain the backend of the company, but drive innovation and revenue. Tinic and Nallapati will have to contend with more limited resources as they help the company compete against streaming giants.