WASHINGTON – Amtrak has named Gerald Sokol, Jr., as the company’s new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He will report directly to Amtrak President and CEO Joe Boardman effective Dec. 3.
As CFO, Sokol will be responsible for corporate finance, business forecasting and development of growth strategies to help secure the long-term viability of America’s Railroad®.
“Jerry’s talent and experiences are valuable assets that will further improve the Amtrak financial performance with the goal of strengthening our bottom line,” said Boardman.
“Over the past several months I have had the opportunity to look at the strength of the Amtrak brand, the growth in Amtrak’s various lines of business, the talented management team, and Mr. Boardman’s strategic plan, and found myself drawn to this opportunity,” stated Sokol. “Amtrak is comprised of dedicated employees with many strategic opportunities before them which, when executed successfully, will enhance our national rail system for the benefit of the American people,” he added.
Since mid-2011, Sokol served as President and CEO of Vertis Corporation, a $1.2 billion revenue direct mail and newspaper insert printing company, and he was Vertis’ Chief Financial Officer during 2010. His prior work experience encompassed several leadership roles at AOL including: Executive Vice President AOL Access Finance, Operations and Strategy (2004-2009); Executive Vice President, AOL International Finance and Operations (2002-2004); and Senior Vice President AOL International Finance and Operations (1999-2002).
He also spent three years (1997-1999) at NTN Communications, Inc., as CFO, then as President and CEO as well as Acting Chairman of the Board. He also spent several years at Tele-Communications, Inc. (1987-1996), at the time the nation’s largest cable TV company, in various positions including his final position as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer.
Boardman emphasized that Amtrak has made significant progress in its financial performance in recent years with record ticket revenues, covering 88 percent of its operating costs with ticket sales and other revenues, cutting its debt by 60 percent and improving its credit ratings. Sokol is expected to assist in further advancing these and other financial metrics such as reducing costs, increasing revenues and efficiency, and improving the railroad’s operating ratio.
Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2014, nearly 31 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains – at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) – that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.