WSU alum named CEO of C.H. Robinson



Winona State University (WSU) alumnus Robert C. Biesterfeld Jr. has been announced as CEO of C.H. Robinson, effective on May 9, 2019. C.H. Robinson is a Fortune 500 company based in Eden Prairie, Minn.

With 20 years of experience, Biesterfeld has developed a deep passion for supply-chain logistics. His strategic vision and operational direction have been the driving force behind the company’s digital transformation efforts, accelerating the pace of innovation and technology deployment across the company’s platform.

Biesterfeld earned his bachelor’s degree from WSU and studied business administration and marketing. Since receiving his degree, he has remained active in the WSU community and currently serves on the WSU Foundation Board of Trustees. Biesterfeld and his wife Bethany have established the Robert Biesterfeld Family Marketing Scholarship, and also support the College of Business Engaged Learning Endowment.

“I am grateful for the education and experience that I gained at Winona State,” said Biesterfeld. “I am committed to giving back to the university and to its students so that they may have the opportunity to have a similar experience.”

WSU College of Business Dean Dr. Hamid Akbari called the announcement of Biesterfeld’s appointment to CEO “historic,” noting this is the first time an alumnus of the WSU College of Business has been named CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

“Our students can truly look up to an ‘Exemplary and global creator of more,’” said Akbari. “Big congratulations to Bob Biesterfeld! He has made all of us so happy and proud.”

Biesterfeld is scheduled to visit the WSU campus later this spring and will host a public presentation at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in Science Laboratory Center room 120.

About the WSU College of Business

“Create your more” with the innovative, high-value business programs offered by the WSU College of Business. With seven undergraduate majors and 10 minors, programs that intellectually engage and challenge students, the college of business equips graduates for lifelong success in the global community. Students benefit from direct experience in real business situations, and take advantage of internship programs, company tours, business and industry guest speakers, and research opportunities. The college has 46 full-time professors who are committed to fostering an engaging and supporting learning environment that utilizes the Winona and Rochester, Minn., business community to provide innovative curricular and co-curricular experiential learning. The college is accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. To learn more about the WSU College of Business visit

About WSU

Founded in 1858, WSU is a comprehensive, regional public university with approximately 8,000 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. Around half of WSU students are first-generation, meaning neither parent has a four-year bachelor’s degree. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: business, education, liberal arts, nursing and health sciences, and science and engineering. Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges, has been named among the Best in the Midwest by The Princeton Review for 15 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 23 consecutive years. The university generates $447.9 million in economic impact for the region per year. The university’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities it serves: a community of learners improving the world. For more information, visit

About C.H. Robinson

C.H. Robinson believes in accelerating global trade to seamlessly deliver the products and goods that drive the world’s economy. Using the strengths of its knowledgeable employees, proven processes, and global technology, C.H. Robinson helps customers work smarter, not harder. As one of the world’s largest third-party logistics providers, it provides a broad portfolio of logistics services, fresh produce sourcing and managed services for more than 124,000 customers and 76,000 active contract carriers through the company’s integrated network of offices and over 15,000 employees. In addition, C.H. Robinson, the foundation and its employees contribute millions of dollars annually to a variety of organizations. Headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minn., C.H. Robinson has been publicly traded on the NASDAQ since 1997. For more information, visit


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