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Amtrak yesterday announced CEO Bill Flynn will retire and current President Stephen Gardner will become president and CEO on Jan. 17, 2022.
Flynn began his service as Amtrak’s top executive in 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the nation. He’s led the railroad through its pandemic recovery efforts, prioritized safety and customer experience initiatives, advanced major infrastructure projects, expanded the company’s diversity and inclusion and executed major equipment procurements, Amtrak officials said in a press release.
Flynn will continue as a senior adviser to Gardner and Amtrak for the remainder of the fiscal year following his retirement to support the transition.
"I want to thank Bill Flynn for his strong and steady hand leading Amtrak and navigating a global pandemic," said Amtrak Chair Tony Coscia. "This was one of Amtrak’s most challenging periods in its 50-year history. Bill has built a strong foundation for continued safe and reliable operations, innovation and growth."
Flynn has "ably led Amtrak through a period of historic upheaval, working tirelessly to keep workers and riders safe," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a prepared statement.
Gardner has been with Amtrak since 2009, serving in a variety of leadership roles including chief operating and commercial officer. He has been responsible for efforts to expand state-supported service partnerships, increase Acela capacity, improve Northeast Corridor infrastructure and develop Amtrak’s strategic plan.
As president, Gardner leads the railroad’s day-to-day operations, customer growth initiatives and strategies to modernize products, services, infrastructure and fleet.
"With the help of the bipartisan infrastructure investment, I’m excited about working with our state, commuter and freight rail and federal partners to improve our assets, renew our fleet and expand Amtrak service to more communities," Gardner said. "Having started my railroad career as an Amtrak intern, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to help lead the incredible team of dedicated men and women at Amtrak."