Amtrak Names Former Delta CEO Richard Anderson Its New President and Chief Executive Officer

Richard H. Anderson

Richard H. Anderson has been named the next president and chief executive officer of Amtrak who will eventually replace Wick Moorman, who is the current chief executive officer — and Wednesday, July 12, 2017 will be the first day on which Anderson reports to Amtrak.

Former Delta CEO Richard Anderson Named President and CEO of Amtrak

“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”, according to this official announcement which was released earlier today from Amtrak. “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 Anderson chose to retire as chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines, Incorporated effective as of Monday, May 2, 2016, which was his 61st birthday. Anderson was subsequently elevated to the position of executive chairman of the board of directors of the airline; but he suddenly vacated that role after slightly greater than five months.

The commercial aviation career of Richard Anderson began 30 years ago in 1987 at Continental Airlines before he was employed at Northwest Airlines for 14 years — during which he progressed to its chief executive officer from 2001 to 2004. Richard Anderson joined as a member of the board of directors of Delta Air Lines in April of 2007 — the month when Delta Air Lines emerged from bankruptcy protection — and in September of 2007, he joined Delta Air Lines from United Health Group to become its chief executive officer, succeeding Gerald Grinstein.

After a stellar career in aviation, if his appointment to lead the national passenger railroad of the United States may initially seem strange, consider that his father was employed by the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Richard Anderson — who is proud to be a native of Galveston — 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.

Inside Take

Despite some questionable gaffes — such as when he said “And it’s a great irony to have the UAE from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula” during a live televised interview — and despite a number of significant changes which adversely affected members of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program, Richard Anderson has served Delta Air Lines well as a strong leader, as he led the airline towards enjoying consecutive quarters of record profits in recent years.

He retired from his position as chief executive officer of Delta Air Lines arguably at the apex of his career; and he is readying for his role in leading Amtrak into a brighter future.

Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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