Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn to Retire, President Stephen Gardner to Assume Role

Bill Flynn has held the job of CEO since April 2020 and will retire on January 17, 2022, the railroad announced Wednesday. Photo Courtesy of Amtrak. 

Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn to Retire, President Stephen Gardner to Assume Role

By Justin Franz, Railfan & Railroad Magazine 

WASHINGTON — Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn will retire next month after just two years as the top executive of America’s Railroad. 

President Stephen J. Gardner will step up as president and CEO effective January 17, 2022, Amtrak announced Wednesday. 

The news that Gardner would be moving to the top spot comes a year after Amtrak shook up its organizational chart and split the president and CEO duties that had previously been held exclusively by Flynn. Before being elevated to president, Gardner was senior executive vice president and chief operating and commercial officer for Amtrak. Gardner first came to Amtrak in 2009 and previously worked on rail and transportation policy for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation under U.S. Sen. Tom Carper and others. He also held various positions with Guilford Rail System and the Buckingham Branch Railroad in Virginia.

Flynn succeeded CEO Richard Anderson in April 2020, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began to upend normal life and decimated the railroad’s ridership. Before coming to Amtrak, Flynn served 13 years with Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., which serves the global air freight, military charter and passenger charter markets, as president and CEO. He also held senior roles with CSX Transportation, Sea-Land Services, Inc., and GeoLogistics Corp.

“I want to thank Bill Flynn for his strong and steady hand leading Amtrak and navigating a global pandemic,” said Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia. “This was one of Amtrak’s most challenging periods in its 50-year history. Bill has built a strong foundation for continued safe and reliable operations, innovation and growth.”

Coscia said that with major investments in passenger rail on the horizon, it was the right time to make a change and Gardner is the right person to lead the company forward. 

“Stephen has the business skills, industry knowledge and vision to improve and modernize service for the next generation of Amtrak’s customers,” he said. 

“I’m truly humbled and honored to assume this role for America’s Railroad,” Gardner said. “With the help of the bipartisan infrastructure investment, I’m excited about working with our state, commuter and freight rail and federal partners to improve our assets, renew our fleet and expand Amtrak service to more communities. Having started my railroad career as an Amtrak intern, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to help lead the incredible team of dedicated men and women at Amtrak.”

This article was posted on: December 15, 2021