Posts Tagged ‘Amtrak management’

Amtrak Offering Managers, Employees Buyouts

October 27, 2017

Amtrak is offering a buyout of managers and employees not covered by a union contract.

Employees must have been with the company for at least a year and must declare their intention to take it between Nov. 6 and 17.

Those approved for the buyout will leave their post by Dec. 31 although some workers may be asked to stay for a transition period.

The buyouts will be paid in a lump sum ranging from $15,000, up to a maximum of two weeks gross pay for each year of service, up to 26 weeks gross pay.

Amtrak has indicated that it is trying to reduce its employment count and if not enough employees agree to a buyout it will lay off employees starting in January.

All employees taking buyouts or who are laid off are expected to be gone from Amtrak by the end of January.

Amtrak Names Griffen to Marketing Post

October 16, 2017

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


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.

Moorman Looks to Future at Amtrak

December 13, 2016

Amtrak President Charles “Wick” Moorman has said little in public about his vision for Amtrak since replacing former Amtrak President Joesph Boardman last September.

But Moorman and Amtrak Chairman Anthony Coscia gave a glimpse of the future in an interview with Progressive Railroading.

Amtrak logoCoscia said Amtrak plans to emphasize convincing stakeholders that the passenger carrier serves its passengers well despite having limited resources.

“This is not about being profitable, it’s about being well run,” Coscia said. “It’s about using our resources wisely, and looking for creative and intelligent ways to run the company . . .”

For his part, Moorman told the magazine,  “What we need to do at Amtrak is make sure that we are running an efficient company that provides a great product to the 30-plus million people who use our services every year. If we do that, I think we should be able to answer effectively to anyone on Capitol Hill — or anyone else — who has criticisms about us.”

Moorman said he wants to focus on building a stronger safety culture and then begin working on improving customer service.

He said Amtrak is, “not at the place that the class I carriers are in terms of a safety record and safety culture.”

Customer service may also need some attention. “One of the things we’re going to pay a lot of attention to going forward is the customer experience,” Moorman said. “We’ll balance the customer service needs with our ability to be more efficient and effective, particularly in those areas that don’t directly affect the customer.”

Moorman is activity seeking to recruit new members to his management team, including retired NS executives.

Already, Moorman has discussed with those executives the areas where Amtrak needs improvements.

One former NS manager, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Manion, has agreed to work with Amtrak.

Moorman also plans to work to improve Amtrak’s relationships with its contract railroads.

Those became strained during a Surface Transportation Board proceeding pertaining to on-time performance standards and regulatory authority.

“The relationships with the class Is are not terrible by any means. I think we can work through a lot of the issues around things like on-time performance,” Moorman said.

“We need to make sure the class Is see us an ally in creating a positive public image; in working on issues that are important to both of us on Capitol Hill; and as a card-carrying member of the railroad industry,” he said.

Moorman will be getting a first-hand look at Amtrak’s service because he rides the Crescent between his home in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his office in Washington.

Although he did not offer any concrete plans for service expansion, Moorman said there are opportunities for expansion, primarily on the state routes.

“I think there will be a ton of opportunity to continue to come our way as the years go by, and we at Amtrak need to be a company that understands that, is prepared for it, and operates that service effectively with our state partners,” he said.

Sokol Appointed Amtrak Chief Financial Officer

November 8, 2013

Gerald Sokol, Jr., has been appointed as Amtrak’s chief financial officer, effective Dec. 3

He will be responsible for corporate finance, business forecasting and development of growth strategies. He will report directly to Amtrak President Joe Boardman.

Since mid-2011, Sokol has served as president and CEO of Vertis Corp., a $1.2 billion revenue direct mail and newspaper insert printing company. His prior work experience encompassed several leadership roles at AOL, NTN Communications and Tele-Communications.

“Jerry’s talent and experiences are valuable assets that will further improve the Amtrak financial performance with the goal of strengthening our bottom line,” Boardman said in a news release.

“Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to look at the strength of the Amtrak brand, the growth in Amtrak’s various lines of business, the talented management team, and Boardman’s strategic plan, and found myself drawn to this opportunity,” Sokol said in the same release.