Turnaround exec to lead MBTA as GM/CEO

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor, Railway Track & Structures; and Engineering Editor, Railway Age
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The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority has named Luis Manuel Ramírez as its next General Manager/Chief Executive, effective Sept. 12. Ramírez, who will succeed Interim GM Steve Poftak, is credited with successful turnarounds at some of the nation's largest corporations through his 30-year business career.

“From Day One, we were looking for a candidate with a solid track record of leading large and complex organizations through transformation and change,” said Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack. “His unique personal background, deep exposure to a range of challenges and constituencies and proven leadership skills make Luis the right person to lead the MBTA as it continues to become the world-class transit agency our riders expect and deserve.”

Ramírez, whose Cuban refugee father operated a crop-dusting plant and later a roofing business in Florida, worked his way through high school as a supermarket bag boy and restaurant worker and continued to work through college before beginning a corporate career marked by increasingly important posts at firms including Unisys Corporation, Siemens AG and General Electric Corp. He was with GE from 2000-12 as vice president and corporate officer, and president and CEO of GE’s Energy Industrial Solutions business before starting his own consulting firm.

MBTA notes that throughout his career, Ramírez has worked with a wide range of domestic and international interests and stakeholders, including governmental entities and unionized workforces.

Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Gonneville, who served on the GM/CEO search committee, said Ramírez’ skill sets and background will serve to strengthen T operations.

“Even in the limited time I’ve spent with him, I can see that Luis understands and appreciates the hard work and talent of our employees who keep this system running every day,” said Gonneville. “The deep managerial experience he brings to the T will help us achieve even greater operational excellence.”

Ramirez said he is anxious to bring his extensive experience, from overseeing billion-dollar portfolios to managing major technology upgrades and communicating with stakeholders, to the agency.

“I am excited about joining a great team at the T to build upon the progress they have already made,” he said. “Going forward, we need financial discipline, we need operational excellence and we also need strategy. But in everything we do, the overriding objective will be to put the customer first.”






Categories: Commuter/Regional, Light Rail, Rapid Transit Tags: , ,