Former Delta CEO named head of Amtrak

Former Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson’s retirement didn’t last long.

Anderson, who led a financial turnaround of the Atlanta-based airline, has been named president and CEO of Amtrak.

Anderson retired last year as CEO of Delta, then in October retired from the role of chairman of the airline. He led the airline for nearly nine years before Ed Bastian took the reins last year.

Delta has disclosed that Anderson left with more than $72 million in stock last year, including $64.8 million from his exercise in 2016 of stock options that he had received as part of his pay over several years heading Delta.

Anderson, 62, will start at Amtrak on July 12 as co-CEO with current CEO Wick Moorman, until Dec. 31 when Moorman will become an advisor to the company. Moorman was hired last year as a “transitional CEO” to improve operations and recruit a successor, according to Amtrak.

In a written statement, Anderson said: “It is an honor to join Amtrak at a time when passenger rail service is growing in importance in America.” 

Anderson’s father worked for the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Moorman in a written statement called Anderson someone who “isn’t afraid to face challenges head-on,” with experience helping companies through bankruptcy, a recession, mergers and acquisitions and 9/11.

At Delta from 2007 to 2016, Anderson piloted the company through financial challenges with an audacious and competitive approach, leading an acquisition of Northwest Airlines and steering Delta toward a position as one of the most successful carriers in the industry.

His career before Delta included positions as executive vice president at United Healthcare, CEO of Northwest Airlines, attorney at Continental Airlines and work as a county prosecutor.

“The board believes [Anderson] is the right leader at the right time,” said Amtrak board chairman Tony Coscia in a written statement.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Travel

Travel Tips: How to get by in a country where you don’t know the language

Traveling to a foreign country can be daunting if you don’t know the local language, and while François Thibault, the cellar master and a founder of Grey Goose, speaks only French, his job requires constant travel around the world. “Over the years, I’ve learned how to navigate foreign countries with limited verbal communication...
They’re Disneyland superfans. Why a lawsuit is alleging gangster-type tactics against one social club

ANAHEIM, Calif. — They stroll through Disneyland in packs of 20 or more, motley crews that resemble a cross between the Hells Angels motorcycle gang and a grown-up Mickey Mouse Club with their Disney-themed tattoos and their matching denim vests strewn with trading pins and logos.  Disneyland social clubs, by most accounts, are harmless...
A new shuttle service, minus the 1980s frills

The announcement by American Airlines seemed to hark to another era: The airline would be adding shuttle service between New York and Chicago this spring — and serving free beer and wine, no less.  But the American shuttle is a “shuttle” in only the narrowest definition: It will adhere to a regular, frequent schedule.  ...
This is the year of the Mountain Coaster in Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — By the tracks of North America’s longest alpine coaster, all faces are smiling. But above, skiers rise on Steamboat Resort’s Christie Peak Express lift, and some look down to shake their heads and frown.  Like it or not, 2018 is the year of the coaster in Colorado ski country. The trade association with...
Hoping for better customer service, travelers turn to Facebook's Messenger

When Karen Korr wanted to change part of her European itinerary, she didn't call Travelocity, her online travel agency. She didn't send an email or a text message, either.  Instead, Korr, who works for a nonprofit organization in San Diego, clicked on Travelocity's Facebook page and sent the company an instant message. She asked if she could make...
More Stories