Friday, January 20, 2006

Amtrak CEO Headhunter is Chosen

Just got my internet update from Progressive Railroading, and there was an interesting tidbit there! Apparently, the Amtrak Board has hired an Executive Search Firm to find the next President and CEO! The firm name is Heidrick and Struggles.

A quick look at their website shows that Heidrick and Struggles is an impressive international firm that deals with consulting services as well as executive searches. A deeper check of their list of testimonials reveals many impressive letters from their past clients.

But look at the list of the "arenas" that these clients are in:

-Commercial Services
-Financial Services
-Media and Publishing
-Commercial and Investment Banking
-Manufacturing and Distribution
-Application Software
-Real Estate Management
-An Industry Association
-A Non-Profit Concern

Notice anything missing? Yep, transportation! I never expected to see "railroading", but at least I thought the firm might have had some experience with consulting or searching in the field of transportation!

By stretching the point, some of these fields are a part of Amtrak's business. But it is the juggling of the combination of such fields together with specific fields involving transportation in general, and Amtrak in particular, that makes the business of operating a passenger agency unique.

I hope Heidrick and Struggles finds someone suitable. My fear is that the cronies on Amtrak's Board have selected another group of cronies to find yet another cronie. I am trying to remain optimistic. But past experience with Amtrak shows that high powered execs not experienced with transportation become failures.

When Congress reconvenes, it will be interesting if anything is said or done in regards to the recent appointments made during their recess. The speed and intent of these apppointments and their work is unusual for DC. Let's watch Congress and see what happens.


At 3:54 PM, January 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah but... rumor is that Mr. Struggles himself is a railfan of sorts, just like Rip!


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