WASHINGTON – Amtrak announced that it has named Richard Anderson, a 25-year veteran of the aviation industry, as its next president and chief executive officer. Anderson, former chief executive officer of both Delta and Northwest Airlines, will begin his role on July 12.
To ensure a smooth transition, Anderson will serve in a co-CEO capacity with current CEO Wick Moorman through Dec. 31, 2017, at which time Moorman will become an advisor to the company. Moorman joined Amtrak in September 2016 as a transitional CEO tasked with improving the company’s operations, streamlining the organizational structure, and helping recruit his successor.
“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,” said Amtrak Chairman of the Board Tony Coscia. “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.”
Anderson, 62, most recently was executive chairman of the Delta Air Lines board of directors after serving as the airline’s CEO from 2007 to 2016. He was executive vice president at United Healthcare from 2004 to 2007 and CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004, which later merged with Delta. Anderson also served in the legal division at Continental Airlines and was a former county prosecutor.
“It is an honor to join Amtrak at a time when passenger rail service is growing in importance in America. I look forward to working alongside Amtrak’s dedicated employees to continue the improvements begun by Wick,” said Anderson. “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.”
“Richard is a best-in-class industry leader and isn’t afraid to face challenges head-on. He has helped companies navigate bankruptcy, a recession, mergers and acquisitions, and 9/11,” said Moorman. “He’s a leader with the strategic vision and tactical experience necessary to run a railroad that benefits our customers, partners and stakeholders nationwide.”
Anderson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Houston at Clear Lake City and a Juris Doctorate at South Texas College of Law. He is a native of Galveston, TX, where his father worked for the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
Anderson was named Aviation Week’s Person of the Year in 2015. In 2014 he was recognized as one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s magazine and was ranked among the Top 25 Most Influential Industry Executives by Business Travel News. In 2013, he was recognized in Fortune magazine’s Top People in Business list.