Dave Bozeman, who will become C.H. Robinson's next CEO, promises to be be a visible presence who focuses on customer service and efficiency.
"It's about being effective. It's about putting mechanisms in place to drive the best out of companies," Bozeman said on Wednesday about his leadership style.
The 54-year-old, currently an executive at Ford Motor Co., takes over on June 26 and plans to move to the Twin Cities.
He will succeed interim CEO and board member Scott Anderson. At the beginning of the year, former CEO Bob Biesterfeld abruptly resigned after 3 1⁄2 years as chief executive.
"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," said Jodee Kozlak, chair of the board of directors of C.H. Robinson and head of the CEO search process, in a news release.
Bozeman was most recently vice president of Ford's Customer Service Division, and vice president of enthusiast vehicles for the company's Ford Blue.
"Dave's an exceptional leader and partner, and we appreciate his contributions to Ford," said Kumar Galhotra, the president of Ford Blue.
Prior to working for Ford, Bozeman was a vice president with Amazon Transportation Services from 2017 to 2022. From 2008 to 2016, he had leadership roles with Caterpillar Inc. and before that worked for Harley-Davidson.
In March, there was speculation that C.H. Robinson was in advanced talks over the CEO job with Jim Barber, who joined the company's board in December, according to Reuters. Barber is a former senior executive at United Parcel Service with a long history in logistics and transportation management who was seen as a predictable choice.
"It seems the company is opting for a more transformational shift with Mr. Bozeman, who possesses a wide range of customer-facing and strategic leadership experience in manufacturing and logistics at Amazon, Caterpillar and most recently Ford," wrote Jack Atkins, an analyst with Stephens Inc., in a note to investors Tuesday morning.
Jeff Windau, an analyst with Edward Jones, believes Bozeman has enough logistics experience for the top job.
"We were expecting that the new CEO would be coming directly from the logistics and supply-chain services industry, and Dave has worked in the sector, as he previously held positions at Amazon Transportation Services," Windau wrote in an email. "Given the diverse work experience, we believe Mr. Bozeman has the background to be successful in the position."
C.H. Robinson shares dipped Monday but lost only 1 cent Tuesday, closing at $91.39.
As CEO of Minnesota's sixth-largest public company, Bozeman becomes one of the few chief executives of color among the Twin Cities' largest public companies.
A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday disclosed Bozeman's $1 million salary at C.H. Robinson. He will be eligible for an annual bonus equal to 150% of his base salary if targets are met and $6.5 million in long-term equity incentives.
In addition, Bozeman will receive a $5 million sign-on/relocation bonus, a one-time performance stock award worth $6.5 million and $12 million in restricted stock to replace equity awards he is surrendering from his previous employer.
Bozeman pledges to have an open ear as CEO.
"I'm flexible to say, if there's something I don't know, I humbly will change that," said Bozeman, who received a bachelor's degree in manufacturing design from Bradley University and a master's in engineering management from the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Bozeman said his first goal as CEO is to meet the teams at C.H. Robinson.
"I always say there's a power in transition. And that power in transition is really understanding the history. History is power. And just understanding how a company that has been around for decades and generations has been successful. I need to hear that and understand how deep that goes," Bozeman said.
Bozeman and his wife, Dawn, have five children ages 15 to 29.
A product of a large Chicago family, Bozeman has nine siblings. He learned his work ethic and focus on customer service from his father, a butcher who worked for grocery company A&P for 40 years.
Bozeman has been working since he was 8 years old.
"I used to go to work with him and pack the hot dog case," Bozeman said. "I've been working ever since."