Thursday, December 10, 2015

Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman announces retirement

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Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman Amtrak President & CEO Joe Boardman

Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman informed the Amtrak Board of Directors on Dec. 9, 2015 that he plans to retire from Amtrak in September 2016, following nearly eight years of service with the railroad.

Under his leadership, Boardman, a former Railway Age Railroader of the Year, helped Amtrak experience many accomplishments including record ridership and revenue, improved operating cost recovery, procurement of new equipment, enhanced passenger services, expansion of service and advancement of critical infrastructure projects, the railroad said.

“When I look back at this time I see so many accomplishments and so many changes we made to make America’s railroad a stronger, safer and more important part of our nation’s transportation system,” said Boardman in a letter to employees.

Boardman will work closely with Amtrak’s Board of Directors as they begin the search for a new CEO.

Joe Boardman’s full letter to employees is as follows:

Dear Co-workers,

At the meeting of the Amtrak Board of Directors this week, I informed them of my intention to retire from Amtrak in September 2016. At that time, I will have served nearly eight years as the President and CEO of our company. When I look back at this time, I see so many accomplishments and so many changes we made to make America’s Railroad a stronger, safer and a more important part of our nation’s transportation system.

For those of you who know me, you know a decision like this is something that I spent a lot of time considering. Yet, I think in the railroad business, all of us know when it’s time to retire. I hear this often from you when I travel around the system. It’s not easy to find people to work in an environment that is as demanding as running a railroad and providing good customer service. One of the reasons why I gave our Board notice so far in advance of my planned retirement is because I want them to have the time to think about the next leader they will select and have a chance to think about the kinds of qualities this leader will need as we move forward. Having served on the Board prior to my time as CEO, I know that the selection of a President and CEO of Amtrak is perhaps the single most important decision that a Board can make.

The other reason why I want to work well into 2016 is because there are things I want to get done on my watch and they include critical and important investments both in the future of our service and the safety of our railroad. Early next year, we expect to place an order for the next generation of high-speed trainsets in North America. When they are delivered they will instantly add capacity and the newest technology available to our passengers. The introduction of that service will drive the future and the brand of Amtrak to new heights just as Acela did 15 years ago. I wanted very much to be a part of that accomplishment. I also want to make sure that by the time I left we had all the new ACS-64 electric locomotives delivered and operating. Finally, there will still be some work in 2016 to advance PTC implementation on sections of the railroad, which we own outside of the NEC. As I have said, there is no greater contribution that my generation of railroaders can make to the safety of our industry than full implementation of PTC.

Amtrak is a remarkable story and it is so because of the people who work here--people who put their entire life’s work into this company; people who go out in the middle of the night to rescue a train; people who deal with sick passengers; people who simply make a difference. I have tried to live and manage by these values as well. Over the next nine months, I expect to spend a large amount of my time at the facilities, crew bases and on the trains that we operate all around this country. We have an exciting future and I truly believe some of our best days lie ahead.

The Board has asked me to work closely with them in the selection of the new CEO. I am confident that the time I have given the Board they can achieve the goal of selecting a good leader for this company and provide a level of transition that a company like Amtrak deserves. In the meantime, there is a lot of work that needs our attention and I ask you to stay focused and work safely.

Sincerely, Joe Boardman President and CEO

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