Amtrak Names Former Delta Chief As President And CEO

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Amtrak's pick of former Delta Air Lines chairman and CEO Richard Anderson to be its president and CEO provides exactly the sort of tough leadership that the woefully-inadequate USA passenger rail line needs.

Anderson will work alongside current CEO Wick Moorman, whom Amtrak appointed as a transitional CEO in September 2016, through the end of the year, at which point Moorman will move into an advisory position, according to Amtrak. He'll start off as co-CEO with Moorman in July and they'll lead the agency together until the end of 2017.

An Amtrak train rolling down the track. The project has caused a rift between Amtrak, the station owner, and the two states that use most of the hub's track space, NY and New Jersey.

"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", Coscia said.

The leadership change comes as Amtrak's fix program at Penn Station in New York City is expected to cause major service disruptions this summer for commuters across the metropolitan region.

Amtrak chose to accelerate infrastructure work following two derailments at Penn Station this past spring. It remains an open question how much the rail service would benefit from a proposed trillion-dollar federal infrastructure bill.

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Moorman retired in 2015 as chairman, CEO and president of Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N) before taking the helm at Amtrak.

Anderson, 62, does not have railroad experience, but does have decades of experience in the airline industry.

Anderson, who will join Amtrak July 12, certainly has the smarts and the laser-like business skills that are needed.

Anderson called it "an honor to join Amtrak at a time when passenger rail service is growing in importance in America". Anderson also served in the legal division at Continental Airlines and was a former county prosecutor.

Amtrak yesterday named former airline industry executive Richard Anderson as the national passenger railroad's next president and chief executive officer.

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