Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak management structure’

Amtrak Eyeing Forced Furloughs

July 28, 2020

Amtrak is expected to furlough an unspecified number of employees after more than 500 workers agreed to accept a buyout offer.

Spokeswoman Christina Leeds told Trains magazine that the buyouts were “not enough to achieve the cost savings we are going to need in fiscal 2021.”

She said Amtrak management is evaluating which management positions it wants to eliminate and it is “very likely” that some union workers will be furloughed.

Amtrak said that 4,369 of its employees were eligible for a one-time payment if they agreed to leave the company.

The buyouts to 284 union workers and 227 managers will average about $33,000 apiece.

Leeds said that puts the total expenditure for buyouts at $16.83 million.

Trains said it obtained an internal company list that showed the breakdown by position of those taking buyouts.

It included 357 in the operations; 37 in administration; 22 in information technology; 17 in safety, health, and environmental; 15 in finance; 15 in human resources; seven in general counsel and corporate secretary; five in strategy and planning; and two in government affairs and corporate communications.

The degree of further furloughs could hinge on how much money Amtrak receives from Congress for fiscal year 2021, which begins Oct. 1.

The House of Representatives has approved a budget bill appropriating $10.05 billion for Amtrak with the proviso that no workers be laid off and that long distance trains now operating daily would continue to do so.

The Senate has yet to act on that bill and given how past appropriations have played out Congress may pass one or more continuing resolutions to keep the federal government operating in the next fiscal year until it reaches agreement on appropriations.

It is unclear what a continuing resolution, which typically funds government programs at the level approved in the past fiscal year, would mean for Amtrak’s workforce and the operation of long distance trains.

Amtrak has said it expects revenue in fiscal year 2021 to be 50 percent of what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

It cited that for planning to furlough 20 percent of its workforce and to reduce most long distance trains to tri-weekly operation.

Trains also reported that on July 14 Amtrak implemented a management restructuring whereby all operating, government affairs, and revenue-generating departments now report to CEO William Flynn through Stephen Gardner, executive vice president and chief operating and commercial officer.

Directly reporting to Flynn will be officers in charge of safety, finance, human resources, legal, and information.

Newman Gets Promotion at Amtrak

April 23, 2019

Dennis Newman has been named by Amtrak to be its executive vice president, planning and strategy.

He joined Amtrak in December 2017 as Amtrak’s vice president of planning, strategy and research.

Before coming to Amtrak, Newman worked for Dish Network as vice president of sales. He also did stints at Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines for more than 17 years.

In a news release, Amtrak said that the corporate planning and strategy functions led by Newman and the commercial and marketing functions headed by Roger Harris will become separate entities within the group led by Stephen Gardner, senior executive vice president of commercial, marketing and strategy.

Previously, both of those functions reported to Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer Tim Griffin, who recently retired from Amtrak.

Moorman Set to Leave Amtrak Dec. 31

December 15, 2017

Amtrak co-CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman is about at the end of the line as the head of the rail passenger carrier.

Moorman

Moorman, who came on board as CEO in September 2016 after a long career at Norfolk Southern that included serving as the company’s CEO, will leave Amtrak on Dec. 31. He plans to continue to serve the carrier as a senior adviser.

When he agreed to take the Amtrak job, Moorman made it clear he would only serve as a transitional CEO and assist the process of finding his replacement.

That led the Amtrak board of directors last June to hire Richard Anderson, a former Delta Air Lines CEO. Anderson and Moorman have held the co-CEO titles since then.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at Amtrak, and firmly believe that the company is well-positioned for the future,” Moorman said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing my work with Richard and the entire Amtrak team to further advance passenger rail in this country.”

When Moorman was hired, he was assigned the responsibility to focus on improving operations, streamlining Amtrak’s organizational structure, and finding his successor.

Moorman has had his share of challenges, including an emergency program to rebuild track at New York Penn Station and improving the company’s safety culture.

The latter was described as “broken” by a National Transportation Safety Board report on an accident that left two Amtrak maintenance workers dead when they were struck by a train at Chester, Pennsylvania.

Amtrak has also shown concepts for high-speed equipment slated to replace Acela train sets in the Northeast Corridor and put into service new locomotives built by Siemens.

“The Board is grateful for Wick’s significant contributions since he joined the company, and we are pleased that he is continuing to serve as a senior advisor,” said Tony Coscia, chairman of the Amtrak board.

Amtrak Restructures Vice Presidents

December 14, 2017

Amtrak announced this week the restructuring of its vice presidents, including the hiring of two new VPs and the reassignment of job responsibilities of some executives already with the company.

Robin McDonough has been appointed vice president, human resources. Byl Herrmann, who had been serving in this role for the past year, will return to the law department as vice president, senior managing deputy general counsel.

McDonough will continue the transformation of the human resources department begun by Hermann earlier this year.

Jeanne Cantu has been promoted to assistant vice president, network support, succeeding McDonough. Cantu will be moving from the finance group, where she had already been working closely with operations through her role as senior director, business planning and controls.

Caroline Decker has been appointed vice president, Northeast Corridor service line. She succeeds Mark Yachmetz, who remains with the group as vice president, Acela 2021 Program, where he will be focused on delivering the next-generation of Acela service, including the new high-speed train sets.

In her previous role as vice president of government affairs and corporate communications, Decker led Amtrak’s efforts in Congress to secure annual federal funding while providing strategic leadership on corporate messaging.

In her new role, Decker will focus on increasing customer satisfaction and driving net revenues through innovation for the company’s flagship products and prepare for future growth across the NEC.

Bob Dorsch has been promoted to vice president, long distance service line. He succeeds Mark Murphy, who will be retiring after 40 years at Amtrak. Dorsch previously served as vice president, product support and management within the marketing and business development group.

In his new role, Dorsch will be responsible for leading efforts to modernize and improve the carrier’s products, deliver these services more efficiently and at a lower cost, while also providing a higher level of customer satisfaction.

Peter Wilander is joining Amtrak on Jan. 4 as vice president, product development and customer experience. He comes to Amtrak from Gate Group, a global provider of products, services and solutions for the aviation industry, where he served as chief commercial officer.

Wilander has more than 35 years of airline industry experience, having previously held the role of managing director on-board services for Delta Air Lines, where he was responsible for the worldwide catering operation, food and beverage design and implementation, on-board retail programs, and crew service delivery procedures.

In his new role, he will establish Amtrak’s customer service standards.

Dennis Newman joined Amtrak on Dec. 4 as vice president, schedule and consist planning. Newman will be responsible for the execution of Amtrak’s network strategy through schedule planning and capacity management of trains in the Northeast Corridor, state supported, and long distance services, and ensuring that route capacity is managed to optimize load factor and revenue, and stays responsive to market conditions and demand.

He was most recently vice president, sales, at Dish Network. Prior to that, he was vice president, network planning at Delta Air Lines.

Amtrak Names Griffen to Marketing Post

October 16, 2017

Amtrak has reached into the airline industry for another executive hire.

Griffen

It has named J. Timothy “Tim” Griffin as executive vice president and chief marketing officer, responsible for marketing, passenger experience, Northeast Corridor business development, state supported services business development, long distance services business development, and product support and management.

Griffin held marketing positions at Continental and Northwest Airlines, rising to the post of executive vice president of marketing at Northwest Airlines in 1999.

He has also directed client services at Brierley and Partners, providing loyalty marketing for Hilton, Neiman Marcus, and United Airlines.

Griffin started in the airline industry in 1977 with American Airlines, where he led post-deregulation route and pricing strategies.

He most recently managed a private investment company, consulting in the travel, transportation, and distribution industries.

“Tim brings a deep level of transportation marketing expertise to Amtrak,” said Amtrak co-CEO Richard Anderson in a statement. “Throughout his career, he has repeatedly shown that he knows how to build strong corporate brands that accelerate a company’s growth. At Amtrak, we are looking for Tim to help us identify and win new customers, while continuing to maintain our loyal base of current customers. We are delighted to have him join the company.”

Amtrak OIG Identifies 8 Challenges Facing Carrier

April 5, 2017

A report released last week by the Amtrak Office of Inspector General has identified eight challenges facing Amtrak management as it seeks to address the passenger rail carrier’s top performance issues.

The OIG has singled out these areas in past reports, including governance, financial excellence, asset management, acquisition and procurement, safety and security, human resource issues, customer service and information technology.

The report said Amtrak has made progress in such matters as replacing aging Acela equipment on the Northeast Corridor.

“Continued management focus is needed to ensure sustained progress,” OIG officials said in the report’s introduction.

Three long-standing and systemic issues that have kept Amtrak from making further progress are:
• Inconsistent use of the company’s strategic goals to drive budget and operating decisions.
• A governance structure that does not hold managers accountable for achieving program results.
• A workforce culture at odds with the company’s goals and mission.

“Until these underlying factors are addressed, the company’s efforts to remediate the top management and performance challenges will continue to face obstacles,” the report stated.

Under current Amtrak President Charles “Wick” Moorman, Amtrak has been implementing organizational changes and attempting to improve oversight and management of core functions.

“Whether these changes and initiatives achieve their intended results will depend on the company’s leadership and top management sustaining its focus on them, providing the necessary resources for implementation and reinforcing that every employee is responsible for embracing and promoting the company’s values of safety, service and financial excellence,” the report said.

Amtrak Exec Discusses Organizational Strucuture

January 19, 2017

A recent Amtrak management structural reorganization was made to streamline the passenger carrier’s corporate structure as well as seek to reduce its operating deficit and increase public transparency, a company executive said in a recent radio interview in Washington.

Amtrak logoAmtrak Chief Information Officer Ghada Ijam told Federal Radio that her technology department will now be part of the Planning, Technology, and Public Affairs group, one of six that report directly to CEO Charles “Wick” Moorman.

“The organization that IT will report into owns the strategic planning for Amtrak,” she said. “IT being a part of that organization is a recognition that IT is a strategic capability that Amtrak can leverage to run like a business, to improve our operations and our services, and to improve our customer experience.”

She described that as an improvement from the past when IT reported to the chief financial officer. Ijam described that arrangement as less than ideal.

“When you report into the CFO, you become a cost center, but when you report to the head of planning and strategy, you become a strategic enabler,” she said.

Ijam said Amtrak is seeking a new location in Washington for its headquarters as it prepares to leave Washington Union Station where it has been for the past 30 years.

The move is still in the planning stages, but will be made after the current least expires this year.

Ijam said one of the most fascinating part of working at Amtrak is the fact that as a public sector agency it is driven by its mission.

“The mission is what drives and motivates people,” she said. “What you see in the halls at Amtrak is that passion to provide an excellent rail service, but we do look at our financials and our business results and make sure that we are spending wisely and generating the right revenue for the company.”

Amtrak Reorganizes Management Structure

January 5, 2017

Amtrak President Charles “Wick” Moorman announced this week a management structure change that will restructure the six management team into two six units. They include:

  • Operations: Scot Naparstek, chief operating officer
  • Marketing and Business Development: Jason Molfetas, executive vice president
  • Finance: Jerry Sokol, chief financial officer
  • Law: Eldie Acheson, general counsel and corporate secretary
  • Administration:  D.J. Stadtler, chief administrative officer
  • Planning, Technology and Public Affairs: Stephen Gardner, executive vice president

Amtrak logoTrain operations will be managed regionally through three general managers and supported by mechanical, engineering, network support, police, and security organizations.

The marketing and business development group will be expanded beyond its traditional role to include product development, planning, and contract management functions of the current business lines.

A new administration group will manage administrative and support functions including human resources, labor relations, procurement, and enterprise project management.
Certain corporate planning, information technology, and station and facility functions, as well as the government affairs and corporate communications division, will be transferred to the new planning, technology, and public affairs group.