WASHINGTON – The Amtrak Board of Directors on Aug. 29 appointed Alexander Kummant as President and CEO. The veteran railroad and industrial executive will assume duties Sept. 12.
Kummant previously served as a Regional Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad, overseeing 6,000 transportation, engineering, construction, mechanical, and other employees supporting an 8,000-mile rail network. He also served as the Union Pacific’s Vice President and General Manager of Industrial Products, a $2 billion revenue business. In leading both units, Kummant was responsible for substantially improved customer service, on-time delivery of client products, and significant gains in financial and operational performance.
Additionally at Union Pacific, Kummant held the role of Vice President of Premium Operations, overseeing the intermodal and automotive network performance.
Recently, Kummant served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Komatsu America Corporation, a division of the second largest supplier of construction equipment worldwide. He has a continuing record as an adaptable change agent in diverse environments.
Kummant’s first job on the railroad came at age 18 in Lorain, Ohio, working on a track crew for the Lake Terminal Railroad at the U.S. Steel Lorain Works.
"Alex Kummant has the outstanding credentials and experience to lead a changing Amtrak that is more customer-focused and fiscally responsible," said Amtrak Chairman David M. Laney. "His appointment fulfills the board’s commitment to select an extraordinarily strong and capable leader for Amtrak’s future, building on the growing national desire for more and improved passenger rail service."
Kummant fills a position that has been held by David J. Hughes on an interim basis since November 2005. Formerly Chief Engineer of Amtrak, Hughes will continue to serve with the railroad in a yet to be specified capacity.
"For the past nine months, David Hughes has stepped in and performed exceptionally in leading our strategic reforms and operational improvements," said Laney. "On behalf of the Amtrak Board of Directors, he has our deepest admiration and respect, and we are delighted that he will continue to play an important role in Amtrak’s future.
A native of Ohio, Kummant holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Case Western Reserve University, a Master’s degree in manufacturing engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University. He is married to Kathleen Regan Kummant, a former senior executive with the Santa Fe and BNSF railroads.
The Board of Directors of Amtrak was assisted in its search by the Washington D.C. office of Heidrick & Struggles, Inc.