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11/9/2005



Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak fires Gunn, launches national search for new leader


Today, Amtrak’s board fired President and Chief Executive Officer David Gunn. The national intercity passenger railroad needs a new leader to “intensify the pace and broaden the scope of reforms,” board members said in a prepared statement.

The board named Amtrak Chief Engineer David Hughes acting president and chief executive officer while board members search for a new leader.

"David Gunn has helped Amtrak make important operational improvements over the past three years,” said board chair David Laney. “Amtrak's future now requires a different type of leader who will aggressively tackle the company's financial, management and operational challenges. The need to bring fundamental change to Amtrak is greater and more urgent than ever before. Now, we need a leader with vision and experience to get the job done."

The board is working to implement strategic reform initiatives introduced in April that would help the railroad improve service and financial performance. The initiatives call for shared federal-state financial responsibility for intercity passenger rail and predictable multi-year federal funding.

Last week, a report released by the Government Accountability Office determined Amtrak needs to strengthen its basic business procedures in order to achieve financial stability and meet future operating challenges.

In May 2002, Gunn came out of retirement to take the helm at Amtrak. He previously served as the chief of transit systems in New York and Washington, D.C.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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