Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Two weeks before Metro is set to begin its long-term maintenance plan on the rail system, a shakeup is happening in-house.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld told employees in a staff memo on Friday that he’s decided let go of 20 managers as part of an organizational “restructuring.” Seven of the fired are senior managers, Wiedefeld said, and more than a third worked on Metrorail. In the memo, the general manager implies more personnel shedding could come soon, for “redundant positions.”

“Please stay focused on safety first and foremost, particulary as we advance the new SafeTrack plan,” Wiedefeld explained.

The announcement comes as Metro strives to improve its reliability of service as well as finances. The firings compose the biggest reported personnel shift Wiedefeld has instituted since joining the agency late last year. He held a meeting for Metro’s more than 600 managers earlier this month, at which employees were told that “nothing comes before safety” on a hand-out.

Read the full memo below:

Subject: Special Message from GM/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld Sent on behalf of General Manager/Chief Executive Officer Paul J. Wiedefeld Consistent with the Customer Accountability Report (CARe), I began management restructuring by reducing my direct reports from 21 to 9, and departments are currently being realigned under the new structure.  This includes streamlining management to improve effectiveness and accountability. 

As part of this restructuring, 20 managers are being released from WMATA, including seven senior managers. More than one-third are from the rail side of the house. Others are in administrative areas, including procurement, for example. I hope you will join me in respecting the privacy of these individuals, and note that I will not be commenting about individual employees.  CARe also calls for the elimination of redundant positions, and that review is underway. 

Please stay focused on safety first and foremost, particularly as we advance the new SafeTrack plan.  It’s also important that we all continue to progress actions planned under the CARe initiative to improve safety, service reliability and financial management.