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Date: 06/26/20 10:06
Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: Chessie1963

How many of you are willing to work for free?  Not very many of you.

The last three Amtrak CEOs have worked, essentially, for "free."  Anderson did not get paid, and Flynn gave up his salary for the COVID crisis.  Who does this?  I am scratching my head and wondering what is going on.  It makes no sense.  It is not as though there are stock options that will provide compensation.

I am genuinely interested in understanding if someone can help me figure it out.  What is the payoff for these guys?  Who says, "Sure, I will take this difficult job, answer to many masters, and oversee the dismantling of the system?"  

I am baffled.
 



Date: 06/26/20 10:23
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: joemvcnj

Doesn't Anderson get a stay-bonus ? 



Date: 06/26/20 10:24
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: SAAP

I work for a CEO that "works for free". That is, no salary, but is paid by the value of the stock. On the surface, this sound like real dedication, but what has happend over the years is that he's used debt to purchase assets rather than profits. The profits were instead used to buy back stocks and generate a temporary, but fleeting increase in stock proce. Afterwich the CEO quickly dumped a batch of stock to turn a quick profit each time. The result is the highest debt-to-equity ratio among out competitors, and long-term harm to the company.
It's all perfectly legal, yet morally bankrupt.

Beware of this. What are his stock options at, say, Delta? He's got to be getting paid from somewhere, and the fear is if it's an entity that opposes Amtrak. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/20 10:25 by SAAP.



Date: 06/26/20 10:45
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: jmhemmer

Knowing nothing concrete, I'd hypothesize that the answer is simple.  These men got rich, often through stock, in prior positions and view the Amtrak gig as an interesting last or next chapter.  They don't need the money, and Amtrak doesn't really have it anyway.  Just an idea.  I'd do it.  



Date: 06/26/20 10:54
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: Chessie1963

You would do it to build a better company.  These guys are clearly doing the OPPOSITE.  They are gradually tearing it apart.

I honestly do not understand.  It is one thing to come in to improve things.  They are not doing that.  At all.  

 



Date: 06/26/20 11:03
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: Lackawanna484

jmhemmer Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Knowing nothing concrete, I'd hypothesize that the
> answer is simple.  These men got rich, often
> through stock, in prior positions and view the
> Amtrak gig as an interesting last or next chapter.
>  They don't need the money, and Amtrak doesn't
> really have it anyway.  Just an idea.  I'd do
> it.  

That's a very reasonable interpretation of what's happening.

One big PLUS is that Amtrak's many employees want the company to succeed. That's a huge advantage intrying to create a viable future for passenger rail.



Date: 06/26/20 11:05
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: PRSL-recall

Isn't there an old statement "you get what you pay for"? We sure know what Anderson was. As for Flynn my as-yet-limited perception is that he is just being tutored by the Board. We haven't had months to draw that on but at least weeks by now. 



Date: 06/26/20 11:48
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: ronald321

The "freebie" Amtrak presidents started with Wick Moorman - followed by Anderson, both of who I consider as having been a disaster for Amtrak.
And now Flynn is the next "freebie",  who I call the "Deaf-mute" president (keep your vision secrete--but cut service to tri-weekly).

We mustn't forget Amtrak is in reality a Government agency, managed and run by Government employees, who report to Government  agencies ,
especially Congressional politicians.

And I bet you thought Amtrak was a "normal" company running passenger trains.

Not only am I suspicious of the intentions of these  guys who work for nothing -- but also, who in the heck is responsible for hiring these
freebies--who know nothing about running passenger trains.


 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/20 11:50 by ronald321.



Date: 06/26/20 11:56
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: Lackawanna484

Isn't Amtrak part of the executive branch, reporting to Elaine Chao at the Department of Transportation?  She, and the Amtrak board, serve at the pleasure of our President.



Date: 06/26/20 11:57
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: joemvcnj

ronald321 Wrote:

> Not only am I suspicious of the intentions of
> these  guys who work for nothing -- but also, who
> in the heck is responsible for hiring these
> freebies--who know nothing about running passenger trains.

The Trans. Secretary is not the Board Chair.
I would think the NEC-centric Board, and there is Stephen Gardner, who is paid a salary, and is politically protected by Chair Coscia and Senator Schumer. 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/26/20 12:03 by joemvcnj.



Date: 06/26/20 12:51
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: dcfbalcoS1

          Its all so very simple: The NEVER have to know ANYTHING about the company they are put in charge of. NOTHING at all and the less the better. They do not get paid well for fixing anything. They do not care , their minds are all on how they can get stock options, swap money here and there and obtain money from entirely unknown people for doing the most rediculous and stupid things that can be imagined. $Millions is bilked out of corporate America every money by these underhanded deals and YOU pay for in in so many ways whether you know it or not.  This happens because of corruption and the American peoples ignorance of what is going on - no oversite, no one is watching the store. The less we know, the more they get.Simply business as usual as it has evolved in the last 50 -70 years. And if someone tries to stop it, the citizens get pissed. Crazy, isn't it?



Date: 06/26/20 16:25
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: MojaveBill

This is not uncommon in business. Many people of wealth see a position like that as contributing their service to the government.
I do understand that everything on this site is part of some sort of mendacious conspiracy but there are good people out there and I've worked for a couple.
In my 84 years my wife and I have contributed unrecorded thousands of hours of community service as I still do.


 

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 06/26/20 16:50
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: gbmott

MojaveBill Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is not uncommon in business. Many people of
> wealth see a position like that as contributing
> their service to the government.
> I do understand that everything on this site is
> part of some sort of mendacious conspiracy but
> there are good people out there and I've worked
> for a couple.
> In my 84 years my wife and I have contributed
> unrecorded thousands of hours of community service
> as I still do.

Thank you, Bill, for some rational discourse.  In Wick Moorman's case I think it was not so much contributing to the government as contributing to an industry he loves.

Gordon
 



Date: 06/26/20 17:17
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: ironmtn

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> MojaveBill Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > This is not uncommon in business. Many people of
> > wealth see a position like that as contributing
> > their service to the government.
> > I do understand that everything on this site is
> > part of some sort of mendacious conspiracy but
> > there are good people out there and I've worked
> > for a couple.
> > In my 84 years my wife and I have contributed
> > unrecorded thousands of hours of community
> > service as I still do.
>
> Thank you, Bill, for some rational discourse.  In
> Wick Moorman's case I think it was not so much
> contributing to the government as contributing to
> an industry he loves.
>
> Gordon

Thank you both, Bill and Gordon, for your support of rational discourse. With you all the way.

MC
Muskegon, Michigan
>  



Date: 06/26/20 17:24
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: cchan006

Chessie1963 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I am baffled.

I'm not. Flynn went for a similar compensation package as Anderson, so COVID probably had little to do with him working for "almost" free. I've already dropped hints in several threads, but no one has reacted or listened. Pity.

See SAAP's post above. This isn't rare, and CEOs know what they are worth, pre/post retirement, so only naive people will say they are doing for "charity." I've seen a number of high tech CEOs who've done something similar, especially in the 2000s, so I've been exposed to this playbook already. Many who call this "conspiracy" obviously have no idea. Pity again.

What they are doing is legal, and there are financial incentives besides the ~$500k bonus. If they wanted to work for a real charity, they could have done so without dealing with a dysfunctional bureaucracy called Amtrak. I'm surprised that's not obvious to some people.



Date: 06/26/20 17:56
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: ts1457

gbmott Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thank you, Bill, for some rational discourse.  In
> Wick Moorman's case I think it was not so much
> contributing to the government as contributing to
> an industry he loves.
>
> Gordon

Yes, I think Wick's intentions were proper, but he mistakenly thought that he would be managing a railroad. 



Date: 06/26/20 18:12
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: ProAmtrak

At least he didn't do 'damage' like Anderson has done and tried to do (splitting the Chief's a big example of the later!)

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/20 14:53 by ProAmtrak.



Date: 06/26/20 18:15
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: ironmtn

cchan006 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Chessie1963 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > I am baffled.
>
> I'm not. Flynn went for a similar compensation
> package as Anderson, so COVID probably had little
> to do with him working for "almost" free. I've
> already dropped hints in several threads, but no
> one has reacted or listened. Pity.
>
> See SAAP's post above. This isn't rare, and CEOs
> know what they are worth, pre/post retirement, so
> only naive people will say they are doing for
> "charity." I've seen a number of high tech CEOs
> who've done something similar, especially in the
> 2000s, so I've been exposed to this playbook
> already. Many who call this "conspiracy" obviously
> have no idea. Pity again.
>
> What they are doing is legal, and there are
> financial incentives besides the ~$500k bonus. If
> they wanted to work for a real charity, they could
> have done so without dealing with a dysfunctional
> bureaucracy called Amtrak. I'm surprised that's
> not obvious to some people.

I'm working to understand where you're going here, cchan006. You reference SAAP's remarks above. And I did also search back to try to find the "hints" you say that you previously dropped. Best I could find were your remarks in a discussion about stock buybacks: https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,5051259,5051667#msg-5051667.  Sorry if that was not the correct bread crumb. Would be glad to know to what you were referring.

If that reference is the "hint" or breadcrumb you dropped, I'm still not sure I get your drift. And, following from SAAP above, are you suggesting that Mr. Anderson still did okay despite taking no salary from Amtrak because of some realized gain via stock buybacks at Delta, a competitor to Amtrak? And if so (and I hope not). I'm not sure how such a scheme could apply to Mr. Flynn, coming from an air freight company that is, so far as I can see, not any kind of competitor to Amtrak. Corrections welcome in all regards.

No disrespect intended in asking. I generally enjoy your posts, analytically acerbic tone and all. I almost always read them and find them thoughtful and thought-provoking at the least, and often enough spot-on. Acerbic tone and all. In support of rational discourse, still, with Bill and Gordon (as above), I thank you for carrying on your tradition. However, still trying to get your drift on this thread.....

MC
Muskegon, Michigan

 



Date: 06/26/20 18:46
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: MEKoch

Considering the quality of Amtrak's management, working for free is still too good.  Another thread says that trains are "sold out."  But Finley and Anderson wanted to get rid of these trains.  Amtrak needs a president who knows passenger railroading, has a vision for growth in the WHOLE country, and does not seek to be exiting strategic parts of Amtrak's business (long distance trains).  



Date: 06/26/20 18:50
Re: Unpaid Amtrak CEOs. What gives?
Author: cchan006

ironmtn Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> No disrespect intended in asking. I generally
> enjoy your posts, analytically acerbic tone and
> all. I almost always read them and find them
> thoughtful and thought-provoking at the least, and
> often enough spot-on. Acerbic tone and all. In
> support of rational discourse, still, with Bill
> and Gordon (as above), I thank you for carrying on
> your tradition. However, still trying to get your
> drift on this thread.....
>
> MC
> Muskegon, Michigan

The "several threads" I posted hints happened months, if not years ago. You're correct that there's nothing related in my recent stock buyback posts.

Here's a big hint. I'm not a tax accountant or CPA, so you won't hear anything specific in that regard. Most people have some idea on how the rich (which most CEOs and ex-CEOS are) maximize their wealth, and that's definitely not a conspiracy.



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