A new study determined that a media firm is the worst company to work for in the U.S., with the man at the top blamed for the bulk of the unpleasantness.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the “honor” goes to Dish Network, thanks to its chairman, Charlie Ergen. The study was by the website 24/7 Wall St.
Englewood, Colo.-based Dish provides satellite television to more than 14 million customers.
“To pick its winner, the site began by sifting entries on glassdoor.com, an online service where people gossip about their jobs,” Bloomberg reports. “It was hardly the most scientific of methods. Still, the volume of miserable tales about Dish is impressive; 346 former or current employees had taken the time to write not-so-nice things about the company. On a scale of 1 to 5, they ranked their company an average of 2.2, beating Dillard’s (DDS) and RadioShack (RSH) for the spot at the bottom.”
Common beefs included long hours, absence of paid holidays and an excess of mandatory overtime. “Some posts suggest that merely setting foot in Dish’s headquarters is a danger to the soul,” the piece reports. However, the study also noted that Dish’s stock price was up better than 30% for much of 2012.
“Much of the malice, and value generation, can be traced to one man: Charlie Ergen, 59, the founder and chairman of Dish,” Bloomberg reports. “Although he turned over the role of chief executive officer to former Sirius XM Radio (SIRI) head Joseph Clayton in 2011, Ergen remains the core of Dish — and its largest shareholder, with 53.2 percent of the outstanding shares and 90.4 percent of the voting rights.”
Bloomberg notes that Ergen, who founded Dish more than 30 years ago, “has an estimated net worth of $11 billion. That puts him among the world’s richest men and makes him one of America’s greatest entrepreneurial success stories. He’s also a living rebuke to a library of management textbooks that suggest fostering happy, self-actualized employees in a transparent environment of trust and communal effort is the path to wealth.”
The New York Post reports that Dish engaged in practices such as fingerprinting staff and deducting money from paychecks if employees tipped more than 15%.
Staff at Dish had a huge dissatisfaction rating, the Post notes: Out of nearly 500 reviews on glassdoor.com, 390 were dissatisifed or very dissatisfied, while only 91 reviewers were satisfied or very satisfied.