President & CEO
The Amtrak® Board of Directors appointed Richard Anderson president and chief executive officer effective July 12, 2017. Mr. Anderson is the eleventh executive to lead America’s Railroad® since the company began operations in 1971. He served as co-CEO with Wick Moorman until Jan. 1, 2018, when he assumed full CEO responsibilities in addition to serving as president. Prior to coming to Amtrak, Mr. Anderson spent 25 years in the aviation industry, where he last held the position of executive chairman of the Delta Air Lines Board of Directors after serving as the airline’s CEO from 2007 to 2016.
Mr. Anderson has helped companies navigate bankruptcy, a major recession and mergers and acquisitions. He is passionate about building strong businesses that create the best travel experience possible for customers. Before heading Delta, Mr. Anderson served as executive vice president at United Healthcare from 2004 to 2007 and as CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004, which later merged with Delta. Anderson began his career in the aviation industry in 1987 when he joined the legal division at Continental Airlines; prior to that he served as a Harris County, Texas, assistant district attorney and chief counsel to the Harris County Criminal Courts at Law.
After overseeing the merger of Northwest Airlines and Delta, Mr. Anderson focused on building employee engagement, strengthening customer service, reducing debt, controlling costs and identifying new revenue streams. The company also entered into successful joint venture and equity-based partnerships with other leading airlines. In 2015, Delta Air Lines reported record earnings of $5.9 billion in adjusted, pre-tax income, and its market capitalization was more than $35 billion.
Mr. Anderson also prioritized the safety of Delta customers and employees. In 2008 the airline became the eighth participant in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) Corporate Pilot. VPP provides a framework for management, labor and OSHA to work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Participation in VPP complemented Delta’s commitments to strong compliance practice and internal safety audits.
During his time as Delta Air Lines CEO, the company was named the “2014 Airline of the Year” by Air Transport World magazine and was listed as one of FORTUNE magazine’s “50 Most Admired Companies.” In recognition of his strong management skills, Mr. Anderson was named 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. He currently serves as a director on the boards of Medtronic, Inc. and Cargill.
Born in Galveston, Texas, Mr. Anderson also spent parts of his childhood in Dallas and Amarillo where his family moved for his father’s job with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Mr. Anderson worked as a construction laborer while earning a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Juris Doctorate from the South Texas College of Law.