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— By Pat Foran, Editor
As we reported in our Daily News late last month, former airline industry exec Richard Anderson will be Amtrak’s next president and CEO. As of press time, Anderson — who most recently was executive chairman of Delta Air Lines after serving as its CEO from 2007 to 2016 — was to begin his new duties on July 12. Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman will be co-CEO with Anderson until Dec. 31. After that, Moorman will serve Amtrak in an advisory capacity.
Moorman joined Amtrak in September 2016 as a transitional CEO charged with improving the railroad’s operations, streamlining the organizational structure and helping to recruit his successor. As he told attendees of our RailTrends® conference in November 2016: “My first job is to work with the board and help find the right long-term person to do this job.”
Moorman — who began his rail career with Norfolk Southern Railway as a co-op student in 1970 and retired as The Thoroughbred’s chairman and CEO in 2015 — believes the board has done just that. Anderson is a “best-in-class industry leader who isn’t afraid to face challenges head-on,” Moorman said in a press release, adding that while Anderson doesn’t have rail experience, he’s helped companies navigate bankruptcy, a recession, mergers and acquisitions, and 9/11. “He’s a leader with the strategic vision and tactical experience necessary to run a railroad that benefits our customers, partners and stakeholders nationwide,” Moorman said.
Given the political challenges and fiscal uncertainties that tend to cling to and can define the railroad — e.g., President Trump’s proposed federal budget doesn’t include operating support for Amtrak’s long-distance routes — those are crucial leadership traits. Welcome to the rail realm, Mr. Anderson.
There’s still time to nominate someone for the League of Railway Industry Women’s (LRIW) 2017 “Outstanding Woman of the Year Award.”
Co-sponsored by Progressive Railroading, the award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to the industry through their leadership, dedication and vision. Any woman who works in the North American rail industry is eligible to receive the award. LRIW is seeking candidates who consistently demonstrate vision, initiative, creativity and guidance in a leadership role within their railway fields; are innovative problem-solvers able to overcome challenges; and bring consistent excellence to their organizations and surrounding communities. The award will be presented on Sept. 18 at Railway Interchange 2017, which will be held Sept. 17-20 in Indianapolis.
The nomination form can be downloaded from the LRIW website until July 31. For more information, visit www.lriw.org.