Amtrak names new CEO

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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U.S. DOT and FRA announce $1 billion for Amtrak in response to COVID-19.
Amtrak/Jason Berg

Amtrak announced that it has named William J. Flynn as its next Chief Executive Officer and President. Flynn, a seasoned business leader with four decades of transportation and logistics experience, will begin his role on April 15, 2020. Flynn succeeds Richard Anderson, who joined Amtrak as CEO in July 2017. Anderson, who fulfills his three-year commitment to the company this year, will remain with Amtrak through the end of the year as a senior advisor to Flynn.

Flynn, 66, has been a successful leader across multiple modes of transportation, including rail, maritime and aviation. Most recently, he served 13 years with Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., which serves the global air freight, military charter and passenger charter markets, as President and CEO and Board Chairman. He also held senior roles with CSX Transportation, Sea-Land Services, Inc., and GeoLogistics Corp.

“Bill is the right executive to lead us into the future,” said Amtrak Board Chairman Tony Coscia. “We’ve never been stronger as a company than we are today. We are modernizing the customer experience and delivering our service to more people. Bill has a consistent track record of growing and improving complex transportation businesses. We are confident he will build upon the strong foundation of record-setting growth and improvement set by the Board, Richard and the entire Amtrak team.”

In fiscal year 2019, Amtrak set new records in ridership, revenue and earnings. In 2020, Amtrak is on pace to achieve operational breakeven for the first time in the company’s 49-year history. Additionally, Amtrak is investing billions in capital assets and is undertaking the largest fleet renewal in company history, with new high-speed Acela trains entering service on the Northeast Corridor next year.

“Amtrak’s future is incredibly bright and I’m excited to join the team,” said Flynn. “Amtrak service is vital to millions of Americans across the nation and by improving the customer experience, driving safety, and strengthening our partnership with states and other stakeholders, we can do much more for the American people. Tony, Richard and Amtrak’s dedicated employees have done an amazing job modernizing the company for the 21st Century. It’s a privilege to join them in continuing this work and advancing something as important as Amtrak’s mission.”

“I congratulate the Board on selecting Bill to lead Amtrak into its 50th year and beyond,” said Anderson. “Bill brings deep expertise across all aspects of transportation and a true passion for the customer. As the company refleets our equipment, expands our services and advances key infrastructure projects like the Gateway Program, it will require the steady leadership and relentless drive for improvement that I know Bill can provide.”

An Amtrak news release.

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