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Richard H. Anderson (born May 2, 1955) is an American business executive who currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtrak. Anderson previously worked in the aviation industry, including tenures as CEO of Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines.[2][3]

Richard H. Anderson
Ray LaHood (left) and Richard Anderson (right) listen as Kevin McAleenan makes an announcement regarding the combat against human trafficking in June 2013.
Born (1955-05-02) May 2, 1955 (age 64)
Alma materUniversity of Houston–Clear Lake, (B.A.)
South Texas College of Law, (J.D.)
OccupationPresident and Chief Executive Officer, Amtrak, (2017–present)
Chief Executive Officer, Delta Air Lines, (2007–2016)
Executive Chairman, Delta Air Lines, (2016)
Chief Executive Officer, Northwest Airlines, (2001–2004)
Sr. Vice President, United Healthcare, (2004–2007)
Spouse(s)Sue Anderson
ChildrenKaty and Rick


Early life and educationEdit

Anderson was born in Galveston, Texas, to Hale Anderson, an office worker for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and Frances Anderson, a medical receptionist. His family, which also included five sisters, moved to Dallas and later Amarillo, Texas. His parents died of cancer when Richard was 20 years old.[4]

Anderson attended Texas Tech University and the University of Houston, graduating from the latter in 1977 with a degree in political science. He earned a law degree in 1982 from the South Texas College of Law before working as a prosecutor for the district attorney office of Harris County, Texas.[4]


Anderson entered the aviation industry after accepting a legal position at Continental Airlines and served as the airline's representative during the investigation of Continental Airlines Flight 1713 in 1987.[4] Anderson, who had never considered a career in the aviation industry, accepted the position at the urging of Ben Hirst, a neighbor who worked at Continental as a legal counsel.[5]

Hirst and Anderson left Continental for Northwest Airlines in 1990, with the latter serving as a deputy general counsel for the airline.[4] At Northwest, Anderson was initially charged with labor relations and government affairs. Despite having no experience in airline operations, he was named senior vice president of technical operations and airport affairs.[6][7] Anderson was promoted to CEO of Northwest Airlines in June 2001 after the departure of John Dasburg.

Prior to his role at Amtrak, Anderson served as Chief Executive of Delta Air Lines from 2007 to 2016, as CEO of Northwest Airlines from 2001 to 2004, which would later merge with Delta, and Executive Vice President of United Healthcare from 2004 to 2007.[8][9]

On February 3, 2016, Delta Air Lines announced Anderson would retire as CEO effective May 2, 2016, and assume position as Executive Chairman of the Delta Air Lines board of directors.[10] On October 11, 2016, Anderson announced his retirement from the Board of Directors effective on the same day. He was succeeded by former Chairman and CEO of The Home Depot, Francis Blake.[11]

In June 2017, Amtrak announced Anderson as the organization's next President and CEO, replacing Charles "Wick" Moorman.[12] Anderson assumed the title of President on July 12, 2017. Anderson also assumed the role of co-CEO on that date, serving alongside Moorman. Anderson remained co-CEO with Moorman until the end of 2017, at which time he assumed the role of sole CEO.

Awards and honorsEdit

Anderson was named Aviation Week's Person of the Year for 2015.[13] In 2013, he was the recipient of the Tony Jannus Award for distinguished achievement in commercial air transportation.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Young, Elise (26 June 2017). "Amtrak Hires Delta Ex-CEO Anderson to Oversee Passenger Railroad". Bloomberg. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Richard H. Anderson". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  3. ^ "RICHARD ANDERSON". Delta Air Lines. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Reed, Dan (February 14, 2008). "Executive Suite: Delta chief takes unlikely flight path". USA Today. Retrieved February 8, 2018 – via ABC News.
  5. ^ Reed, Dan (February 4, 2016). "Anderson's Retirement From Delta Could Be As Unique As His Career". Forbes. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  6. ^ "Delta CEO Anderson to become airline top dog". Reuters. April 14, 2008. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  7. ^ Bjorhus, Jennifer (April 19, 2008). "Richard Anderson: The man behind the Delta-Northwest deal". St. Paul Pioneer Press. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "BIO BOX: RICHARD ANDERSON, CEO OF DELTA AIR LINES". Associated Press. Associated Press. June 26, 2013. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  9. ^ "Richard H. Anderson". Investopedia. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  10. ^ "Delta announces executive succession" (Press release). Atlanta, Georgia: Delta Air Lines. February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  11. ^ "Anderson retiring from Delta board of directors; Frank Blake named non-executive chairman". Delta News Hub. Delta Air Lines. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  12. ^ Aratani, Lori (26 June 2017). "Amtrak names new chief executive". Washington Post. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  13. ^ Aviation Week (December 18, 2015). "Aviation Week Names Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson Person of the Year", press release via PR Newswire.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Richard H. Anderson at Wikimedia Commons

Business positions[1]
Preceded by
John Dasburg
CEO of Northwest Airlines
2001 – 2004
Succeeded by
Douglas Steenland
Preceded by
Gerald Grinstein
CEO of Delta Air Lines
2007 – 2016
Succeeded by
Ed Bastian
Preceded by
Daniel Carp
Chairman of Delta Air Lines
May 2016 – Oct 2016
Succeeded by
Frank Blake
Preceded by
Charles Moorman
President of Amtrak
July 2017 –
CEO of Amtrak
July 2017 –
Co-CEO July–December 2017 with Charles Moorman
  1. ^ "Delta's Chairmen, CEOs & Presidents". Delta Flight Museum. Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum. Retrieved 11 October 2016.