UPDATE: Amtrak names new CEO

Retired airline executive Anderson to be co-CEO with long-time railroader Moorman
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incoming Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson
Delta Airlines
WASHINGTON — Amtrak CEO Wick Moorman is set to hand the reins of America's passenger railroad to a former airline executive and one-time criminal prosecutor who also happens to be the son of a former Santa Fe railroader.

In a Monday afternoon announcement, Moorman and Amtrak chairman Tony Coscia said that former Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson will come on board with the railroad July 12 and serve as co-CEO with Moorman through the end of the year.

"Richard brings to Amtrak his experience running one of the largest global commercial air carriers. The board believes he is the right leader at the right time to drive the quality of customer service that our passengers, partners, and stakeholders expect and deserve while continuing our path towards operational and financial excellence," Coscia says in an Amtrak news release.

According to the news release, Anderson was executive chairman of Delta and served as the airline's CEO from 2007 through 2016. He served as CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004 and was once employed in Continental Airlines' legal department. Between his two airline CEO stints, Anderson was executive vice president at United Healthcare, a health insurance company.

"It is an honor to join Amtrak at a time when passenger rail service is growing in importance in America," Anderson says in the news release. "Amtrak is a great company today, and I'm excited about using my experience and working with the board to make it even better. I'm passionate about building strong businesses that create the best travel experience possible for customers."

In a letter to Amtrak employees obtained by Trains News Wire on Monday, Moorman described Anderson as "a leader with the strategic vision and tactical experience necessary to run a railroad that benefits our partners, our customers and our employees."

Moorman also highlighted Anderson's upbringing in a railroad family, saying that the exec "knows a thing or two about railroading."

Moorman joined Amtrak Sept. 1 as CEO after a long career in freight railroading at Norfolk Southern, where he retired as chairman and CEO in 2015. Moorman succeeded long-time Amtrak boss Joe Boardman, but Moorman insisted that he intended to stay at the railroad only long enough to find a successor and tend to correcting certain issues with the carrier.

Anderson and Moorman will serve as co-CEOs of the railroad until Moorman resigns on Dec. 31, 2017 to serve in an advisory capacity.

Wick Moorman's letter to employees in full:
"Fellow Amtrak employees,

When I agreed to join Amtrak last September, I made a promise to our Board of Directors and to my wife that I would be here for only a short period of time. And I started on Day One with three goals.

First, I wanted to make the company more efficient. I believe the new organizational structure we announced in January will help us do that.

Next, I wanted to help develop a stronger safety culture. I believe our new “Safety Starts with Me” initiative and others will help raise our performance here.

And finally, I wanted to work with the Board to find the right executive to lead Amtrak over the long term. And we’ve found him.

I am pleased to announce that Richard Anderson will become our next president and CEO, effective July 12. To ensure a smooth transition, Richard will serve in a co-CEO capacity with me through Dec. 31, 2017, at which time I’ll step down from this role.

We are very fortunate to have someone of Richard’s caliber join Amtrak. Richard is a 25-year veteran of the transportation industry. As the former chief executive of both Delta and Northwest Airlines, Richard has a proven track record of driving growth while enhancing the customer experience. What I really admire about Richard is he faces difficult challenges head-on. He has helped companies navigate bankruptcy, a recession, mergers and acquisitions, and 9/11. In total, Richard is a leader with the strategic vision and tactical experience necessary to run a railroad that benefits our partners, our customers and our employees. He also comes from a Santa Fe Railway family, so he knows a thing or two about railroading.

Richard will also bring us senior leadership stability. He intends to stay with Amtrak into the foreseeable future as president and CEO. He and his wife Sue currently live in Texas, and they will be relocating to the Washington, D.C., area soon.

In the meantime, with his appointment in place, my focus this summer will be on welcoming Richard aboard and closely watching our work at New York Penn Station, where I will be very involved in making sure our infrastructure renewal project is completed safely and successfully.

I want to tell you that leading the Amtrak team continues to be a great honor. I knew coming into the job that we had good people. As I recently told Richard, what he will find very quickly is that we have the best people.

Our future is incredibly bright. We are a good company that is in the process of taking steps to become great. And with Richard, we have exactly the right leader we need to take the next steps on that journey. We are in the business of moving people. And very soon, we’re going to be led by someone who is one of the all-time greats in this business. Richard knows how to create a great customer experience and build customer loyalty, which is exactly what we need to grow our business. He is also going to work with our entire team on making sure we become the safest and best-run railroad in the entire industry. I’m excited for what lies ahead for us.

Please join me in welcoming Richard to Amtrak. And thank you once again for all that you do for the company.


Wick Moorman
President and CEO"

UPDATE: Full story and comments from Amtrak officials according to a railroad news release. June 26, 2017, 1:33 p.m. Central time.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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