The man who saved Delta wants to fix America's railroads

Delta CEO Richard AndersonSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesFormer Delta CEO Richard Anderson will become the new president and CEO of Amtrak.

On Monday, Amtrak confirmed that it has appointed former Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson as its next president and chief executive.

Anderson, who retired last year after a decade at the helm of Delta, will start at Amtrak on July 12.

This announcement comes at a tumultuous time for America’s passenger rail provider.

In recent months, Amtrak has come under fire for service and maintenance problems that have caused severe disruptions along the heavily travelled Northeast Corridor between Washington D.C. and Boston.

To facilitate a smooth transition of power, Amtrak says Anderson and current CEO Wick Moorman will serve as Co-CEOs until the end of the year — at which point Moorman will step down and become an advisor to the company.

In a statement to Business Insider, Anderson wrote:

“It is an honour to join Amtrak at a time when passenger rail service is growing in importance in America. I look forward to working alongside Amtrak’s dedicated employees to continue the improvements begun by Wick. Amtrak is a great company today, and I’m excited about using my experience and working with the board to make it even better. I’m passionate about building strong businesses that create the best travel experience possible for customers.”

Over the past 25 years, Anderson has become one of the most respected CEOs in the airline business. During his time at Delta, Anderson helped turn the once ailing legacy carrier into one of the most efficient, effective, and profitable airlines in the world.

In 2008, Anderson and his team are credited with navigating Delta and Northwest, both fresh out of bankruptcy, through one of the smoothest airline mergers in recent memory.

At Amtrak, Anderson will get another chance to resurrect one of the biggest names in transportation.

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