C.H. Robinson’s New CEO Brings Experience From Ford, Amazon
Dave Bozeman, a Ford Motor Co. executive, on Tuesday was named to lead C.H. Robinson Worldwide, which has been struggling with slumping revenue in the logistics marketplace.
Bozeman will become CEO of the Eden Prairie-based corporation on June 26, about six months after CEO Bob Biesterfeld departed over a winter weekend. Biesterfeld had worked for C.H. Robinson for 24 years, the last three as CEO.
In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing by C.H. Robinson, the company said, “Mr. Biesterfeld’s departure was an involuntary termination by the company without cause.”
Bozeman will accept the CEO baton from Scott Anderson, a former CEO of Patterson Cos., who shifted from the role of C.H. Robinson’s board chair to the company’s interim CEO when Biesterfeld left.
Ford said Tuesday that Bozeman will leave the Michigan-based vehicle manufacturer on June 16. Bozeman joined Ford in August 2022 and has been serving as vice president of the Ford customer service division and vice president of enthusiast vehicles for Ford Blue of Ford Motor Co.
Previously, he worked for more than five years as a vice president for Amazon Transportation Services, where he focused on supply chain optimization for customer delivery across Amazon’s global network.
“Dave is a seasoned executive who has a strong track record of reinventing complex operating models with industry-wide impact, proven expertise in global supply chain and logistics management through various economic cycles and extensive experience leading high performing teams and cultures to drive results,” Jodee Kozlak, C.H. Robinson board chair, said in a written statement Tuesday.
“Dave is the right leader to take C.H. Robinson’s vision forward with his focus on organizational opportunity and enhancing value for our customers and our shareholders by capitalizing on C.H. Robinson’s opportunities as a leading asset-light logistics provider in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex supply chain environment,” Kozlak said.
Interim CEO Anderson has been navigating those external marketplace changes and leading internal initiatives. That was evident on April 26 when he reported that first quarter total revenue had plummeted 32.3% to $4.6 billion.
In announcing the results, Anderson noted “softening market conditions” over the previous 12 months in the freight transportation market. “With shippers continuing to manage through elevated inventories amidst slowing economic growth, the balance of supply and demand has shifted from a tight market a year ago to one that is now oversupplied,” he said.
Last November, C.H. Robinson’s management decided to eliminate about 650 jobs to realign its workforce to match the slowing freight demand.
In May, the company moved forward with plans to cut another 300 jobs. In a late April statement, Anderson acknowledged the employee layoffs and financial impact on the company. “We are executing on the restructuring plan that was initiated in November, and we’re lowering our 2023 personnel expense by $100 million at the mid-point of our guidance, reflecting actions that have already been taken and additional opportunities to further reduce our costs,” he said.
In the first quarter that ended in March, C.H. Robinson’s operating expenses declined 6.4% to $524.6 million. Meanwhile, its personnel expenses dropped by 7.3% to $383.1 million, which it said primarily occurred because of “cost optimization efforts, including reduced headcount, and lower variable compensation.”
Its first-quarter net income was $114.9 million, a drop of 57.5% from the first quarter of 2022.
In a Tuesday statement, Bozeman said he looks forward to working with C.H. Robinson’s workforce to “deliver for our customers and accelerate the next phase of sustained growth and success.”
Bozeman earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering as well as a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing design from Bradley University in Illinois.
Early in his career, Bozeman held leadership roles with Caterpillar Inc. and Harley-Davidson.