Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Airline vet to lead Amtrak in a summer of repairs, reckoning

Amtrak President & CEO Wick Moorman speaks on Apr. 6 2017 about service disruptions after a derailment earlier in the week Amtrak President & CEO Wick Moorman speaks on Apr. 6 2017 about service disruptions after a derailment earlier in the week
Preston Stone | 28 June, 2017, 02:46

Anderson, 62, was Executive Chairman of the Delta Air Lines board until October 2016, having served as CEO in 2007-16.

Moorman will serve as co-CEO with Anderson through the end of the year, at which point Moorman will become an advisor to the company.

He will replace Charles "Wick" Moorman, who's stepping down at the end of the year.

Anderson was named Aviation Week's Person of the Year in 2015. That project would add two new tracks beneath the Hudson River between NY and New Jersey, allowing the railroad to perform a badly needed overhaul of the railroad's 106-year-old existing tunnels, and eventually to run more trains on the busy Northeast Corridor.

Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have threatened to withhold the rent due to Amtrak for their states' respective commuter railroads, because of the service disruptions caused by the track issues and fix work at the station, the busiest in the country. "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 toward operational and financial excellence", Amtrak board chairman Tony Cosia said in a news release announcing Anderson's appointment. Anderson began his airline career in the legal division Continental Airlines. He is expected to take over his new role with Amtrak on July 12 but will serve alongside Amtrak's current CEO Wick Moorman through December 31. "The board also appreciates all that Wick continues to do to improve Amtrak's safety culture and strengthen our operating performance, including the important renewal work at New York Penn Station".

This announcement comes at a tumultuous time for America's passenger rail provider.

While lacking railroad experience, Anderson has an extensive background as an executive. He merged Delta and Northwest in 2008.

During his tenure, Delta outpaced its peers in on-time performance, grew rapidly in top business markets such as NY and acquired stakes in airlines in the United Kingdom, China, Mexico and Brazil.

Richard Anderson stated "The AAR and its members welcome Richard Anderson in his new role as President and CEO of Amtrak, a vital passenger rail service to the United States".

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