City Club of Chicago: Amtrak President and CEO Wick Moorman
May 25, 2017
Wick Moorman – President and CEO – Amtrak
The Amtrak Board of Directors appointed Charles W. “Wick” Moorman IV president and chief executive officer effective Sept. 1, 2016. Moorman is the tenth executive to lead America’s Railroad since the company began operations in 1971. Prior to coming to Amtrak, Moorman spent approximately four decades at Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) and its predecessor Southern Railway. He retired as chairman and CEO of NS in 2015.
While head of NS, the company continued its focus on the safety of its workforce and the communities it serves. He championed adoption of a behavior-based safety culture that emphasizes positive reinforcement techniques and coaching. NS reported a 13 percent decline in reportable injuries in 2015 and also introduced “Risk Factor” interactive training workshops to help operations employees recognize and manage daily risks.
Also while at NS, Moorman and his team moved forward with the development of strategic intermodal freight corridors and improving network operations. Investments in infrastructure and technology were complemented by a focus on human capital that addressed pending demographic changes in the workforce. NS worked with the state of Virginia and Amtrak to support extension of the popular Northeast Regional service to Lynchburg and Norfolk over NS-owned tracks. Under his leadership, NS achieved a record net income and operating ratio in 2014.
Returning to Southern Railway in 1989, Moorman held a wide variety of senior management positions in the Transportation Planning, Personnel and Labor Relations, Information Technology and Corporate Planning and Services groups before being named president of NS in 2004. The following year he was named CEO, and in 2006 the NS Board of Directors elected him chairman.
Railway Age magazine named him “Railroader of the Year,” and Progressive Railroading magazine selected him as recipient of its “Railroad Innovator Award” in 2013. Moorman has long been involved with numerous charitable organizations, including the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Nature Conservancy of Virginia and Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
Born in New Orleans, Moorman largely grew up in the Amtrak-served community of Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1975. As part of his studies, Moorman took part in a cooperative education program with Southern Railway starting in 1970. Upon completion of his degree, he was accepted into Southern Railway’s management trainee program. He served as a track supervisor and then a division engineer before leaving in 1987 to pursue a MBA at Harvard University.