Former Airline Executive Named Next CEO of Amtrak

A former airline CEO will serve as the next president and chief executive officer of Amtrak.

The railroad this week announced Richard Anderson, a 25-year veteran of the aviation industry, will serve in a co-CEO capacity with current CEO Wick Moorman through Dec. 31. At that time, Moorman will become an advisor to the company.

Anderson if the former chief executive officer of both Delta and Northwest Airlines; he begins his role on July 12. 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 brings to Amtrak his experience running one of the largest global commercial air carriers,” Amtrak Chairman of the Board Tony Coscia said in a news release. “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.”

Anderson, 62, most recently was executive chairman of the Delta Air Lines board of directors after serving as the airline’s CEO from 2007 to 2016. He was executive vice president at United Healthcare from 2004 to 2007 and CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004, which later merged with Delta. Anderson also served in the legal division at Continental Airlines and was a former county prosecutor.

Anderson 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. He is a native of Galveston, TX, where his father worked for the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Anderson was named Aviation Week’s Person of the Year in 2015. In 2014 he was recognized as one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s magazine and was ranked among the Top 25 Most Influential Industry Executives by Business Travel News. In 2013, he was recognized in Fortune magazine’s Top People in Business list.