Who's the worst boss in the US?

A new report takes Dish Network's founder and chairman Charles Ergen to task for treatment of the company's employees.

By Aimee Picchi Jan 4, 2013 2:48PM

Image: Charles 'Charlie' Ergen, chairman and co-founder of Dish Network Corp (© Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg via Getty Images)Bad bosses aren't uncommon, but according to one report there's one that stands a head above (or should it be below?) the rest of America's managers: Dish Network (DISH) Chairman Charles Ergen. 

Ergen, with an estimated net worth of $9 billion, doesn't allow its employees to have company credit cards -- and for many years would deduct money from an employee's paycheck if they tipped more than 15%, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Expecting workers at their desks no later than 9 a.m., Dish previously used identification badges for entry to its headquarters. But after noting that some workers were asking colleagues to "badge-in" for them, Ergen reportedly had the company switch over to fingerprint scanners. 

"Multiple ex-employees say it’s not uncommon to see Ergen publicly berate an executive for scanning in a few minutes late," the article notes, "even if that executive had spent the previous 12 hours at home working through the night."

Ergen isn't warm and fuzzy to Wall Street, either. Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett tells Businessweek that when he first started in his job, he asked to fly to Denver to meet with Dish's management. Dish responded, "We’re too busy creating value around here to sit down and talk about it. Thanks but no thanks.”

Despite his critics, Ergen's focus appears to have helped the company's bottom line: Dish has beaten estimates for five out of the last eight quarters, and its stock jumped 27% last year.

A spokesman for Dish told the New York Post, "It is a challenging place to work." He added that Dish is a "cost-conscious company", where executives are required to share hotel rooms when they travel.

Since Ergen stepped down as chief executive, the company has relaxed some policies: for instance, it's now acceptable to leave a 17% tip without getting your paycheck dinged. 

On employment site Glassdoor.com, Dish receives only 2.2 stars out of 5, based on roughly 600 reviews from employees. That means its workers are "dissatisfied." But one recent reviewer, who awarded Dish just one star, wrote, "Joe Clayton (CEO) put us up to upgrading our score." 

A Dish spokesman tells MSN Money Now that Clayton has encouraged employees to read the Businessweek article and add reviews to the employment site. According to an excerpt from the memo, Clayton wrote, "If you are happy here at DISH, and believe the company is moving in the right direction, log on to glassdoor.com (here) and provide feedback."

The spokesman adds, "It's Joe's regular practice to solicit direct feedback -- good and bad -- from employees so we can improve the business. This is an effort we take very seriously."

More on Money Now

Jan 4, 2013 7:14PM
He actually doesn't sound that bad. He makes other lavish CEOs sound like slackers. I wonder who came up with the salacious rumors, MSN?
Jan 4, 2013 7:10PM
without a doubt the worst service from ANY company i have ever had dealings with. If they were the last tv company around i would go back to an antenna. Had them for almost 2 years and when i moved on to something else they threatened to charge me for equipment i had already returned. NEVER EVER would i do business with them. Glad to know the **** is a billionaire. Hope he and his money are happy.
Jan 4, 2013 7:09PM

I cut my Dish back to bare bone basic, from 80 a month down to 11.00 and got NetFlix, love it.

Keep kicking the unions down, soon all bosses will get away with being a jerk!

Jan 4, 2013 7:09PM

The guy is running his business the way he feels he needs to to be profitable for his employees and for his stock holders. I would like to remind everyone that this still a free country and we can work for the man or work for ourselves, it's called freedom. If a employer wants to treat his employees wrong then quit, I hear that google lets people ride scooters at work and act like kids at a playground, go apply

My employees are told when they are hired how things work and what the rules are, take it our leave it. Just be expected to follow them.

Grow up America be responsible

Jan 4, 2013 7:07PM
this is the kind of guy id like to shove a chloroform soaked rag in his mouth , and Rob silly ...........if i were more a business type id hedge the stock and sabotage the company infrastructure .......... im also a madman because i  tip  like 35% + to people who bust their **** for a living ....... 
I had Dish for awhile and when I decided to cancel, they refused to refund my account balance of about $60.  The also wanted me to return my receivers.  I said "you get your receivers, when I get my $60 you owe me."  Needless to say with their legal team they almost wrecked my credit score and forced me to return the equipment...and 5 years later some solicator was trying to sign me up again with Dish and I told them this story and they checked into it...and the company records still showed a $60 credit to my name even though I jumped ship 5 years prior.  If they can't balance their books how can they run a company. They are as crooked as a dog's hind leg!
Jan 4, 2013 7:05PM

I was going to say Clinton, then Obama and maybe Biden were the worst bosses, never at work and always tying to keep straight just which lie they told to who would just wear you out!

Did you know sensitive is so over rated and is something that only liberals care about!

you really want your doctor crying while operating on you or the banker and sheriff crying while taking your home away from you and cuffing you.....no you don't so grow a pair and man you you 90's left behind crybabies with Obama being so sensitive you think he'd care to balance the budget and get spending under control, not raise taxes on anyone and end the war!!

But he's not !

Jan 4, 2013 7:05PM

His attitude carries over to customer service which is why I left  Dish a few years ago for another TV service provider.


Jan 4, 2013 7:04PM
This is the problem with Wall Street. We reward a$$holes who treat their employees like **** to boost profits. There is more to life than the bottom-line. Hopefully we, as a country, can begin to understand that.
Jan 4, 2013 7:01PM
I guess nowadays it's to much to ask for employees to show up on time. No wonder this country is going under. You can't tip more than 17% of your company's money, not your own. Be happy that you got a free meal and staying in a hotel room that has two beds in it anyways, and you have to share it. Oh man times are rough, I don't know how anyone lives like these. Get a clue people.
Jan 4, 2013 7:00PM
The examples given in the write up are fine by me.  Punctuality (let alone actually showing up) has to be one of the first requirements when bringing a sloppy, unprofitable work force into line.
Jan 4, 2013 6:55PM

Since when should ANYONE be paid for time not spent on the job? I always felt that I was late for work if I wasn't 20 minutes early to relax a little bit from the commute and ready myself for the job at hand.

  I say, he's just doing HIS job. Grow up and be responsible people, or move over for someone who would be happy to take your place. If I ever caught an employee "punching in" for someone else, they'd both be out on their asses immediately.

Jan 4, 2013 6:54PM
The worst boss in America is Obama. Charles Ergen can only ruin his company.
Jan 4, 2013 6:53PM

He sounds a lot like Tom Formicola with Medtronic.


Hmm, Tommy ya have a brother out there.

Jan 4, 2013 6:51PM

Why a CEO would be worrying when folkspunch in is beyond me.  I'm sure he has more important things to do like run the company.  He has many subordinates below him that should address the issue

he has many other issues not posted that give him the title of worst CEO not listed.... just google..

you don't have to be smart to be a CEO just have familt entitlements passed down or around.


Jan 4, 2013 6:51PM
The best part is knowing that what goes UP, must come DOWN.  When he falls I hope he hits bottom HARD for treating people like he's the damned Queen of Sheba.   Example of how to do it right:  Dolly Parton has a net worth of almost HALF A BILLION dollars, not as much as this douchebag, but the point is that just because she runs a successful enterprise and hires thousands to help run her career and businesses, guess how many people she has degraded and talked down to in order to 'create value' and good entertainment?  ZERO.   She is NICE, and doesn't waste energy trying to prove something.  This guy can go to hell for all I care, and his Dish service SUCKS anyway from what I hear. 
Jan 4, 2013 6:49PM
no suprise, they sent some punk, with a capital P to my house to wire my house as it was not cable ready. he refused to get in the attic and drop them down inside the walls. said he wanted to drill holes thru my masonry outside to run wires everywhere. told him that was not acceptable and he started shooting his mouth off about how i had realeased him since i didnt want it his way. dish refused to install ny wiring but would not let me out of my contract. fought it for days. they refused to give my a phone number or address for the bigshots, was told there were no phones at corporate, yeah right. they have them selves totally screened off and protected form the outrage of all the crap they pull. their customer service reps read a script to you about how can i help and then they do nothing, promised over and over to call me back, never did. after many hours on the phone i got someone, who when i threatened legal action, suddenly decided to let me out of my contract. they suck sooo bad!
Since when is management being total aholes news? Haven't they ever talked to people in retail? You don't get to be a CEO by being nice to people, you only get there by backstabbing and being a total waste of flesh.
Jan 4, 2013 6:45PM
An angry, hateful rich man!  Imagine.  
Jan 4, 2013 6:39PM

There are a lot of mean,nasty,bad CEOs or upper level Executives..Some have been mentioned here.


I've found sometimes that I am, my own worst boss; But seldom do I let anyone know...


All the others will get their's someday...

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