C.H. Robinson creates office to implement strategic initiatives

Brokerage and logistics giant C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. said Thursday it has created an office designed to support the company’s strategic initiatives and has tapped a lean processes methodology expert to run it.

The Program Management Office, which came into being Wednesday, is headed by Jim Reutlinger, who headed his own consultancy after many years at Danaher Corp., a global conglomerate that designs and manufactures medical, industrial, and commercial products and services. Reutlinger had been serving as a consultant to Robinson.

According to a statement from Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Robinson (NASDAQ: CHRW), the new office will be “focused on strengthening capabilities needed to further enable” the company’s strategic priorities. Reutlinger, who was named vice president, enterprise strategy program management, reports to Dave Bozeman, Robinson’s president and CEO, who assumed the top job last June.

The office’s launch is seen as a step in Bozeman’s implementation of a strategy to revive Robinson’s flagging fortunes. The company, the nation’s largest freight broker and a sizable 3PL, has experienced income and revenue declines for a number of quarters and has been hit hard by the deep freight recession. It did not participate strongly in the freight upturn during and after the pandemic and was caught with a bloated organizational infrastructure when freight markets turned down. It has also been criticized for not having the IT chops needed to respond to increasing digital demands from shippers and carriers.

Bozeman has spent much of his first six months or so learning about Robinson’s business and devising a plan to turn things around. Reutlinger’s appointment dovetails with Bozeman’s plans to apply lean process structure to Robinson’s operations. Robinson, like many in the transport sector, has not pushed aggressively into lean process management. One company that did, the old Con-Way Inc., had its lean less-than-truckload operations dismantled by XPO Inc. (NYSE: XPO) following XPO’s $3 billion purchase of Con-Way in 2015.

Separately, Robinson disclosed that it has agreed with activist investor Ancora, which controls about 2% of Robinson’s stock, to renominate Ancora’s two appointed board members.

In a Dec. 29 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Robinson agreed to renominate current Directors Henry “Jay” Winship and Henry J. Maier, provided that Ancora doesn’t nominate other individuals to the board, make any proposals or engage in any proxy solicitation ahead of Robinson’s annual stockholder meeting in May.

Last January, Ancora signed a one-year extension of a prior agreement from February 2022 that put two Ancora representatives on the Robinson board but with the promise that Ancora would not seek changes at the company for at least another year.

The post C.H. Robinson creates office to implement strategic initiatives appeared first on FreightWaves.

Source: freightwaves - C.H. Robinson creates office to implement strategic initiatives
Editor: Mark Solomon