C.H. Robinson Worldwide, the Eden Prairie-based logistics firm, is promoting company veteran Robert Biesterfeld to the new position of chief operating officer.

Biesterfeld, who has been with the company for 19 years, will report to John Wiehoff, chairman and chief executive.

"Bob is a highly effective leader with deep knowledge of our industry and a proven track record of delivering results," Wiehoff said in a statement. "He has been instrumental in driving strategy and transformation and brings a strong focus on analytics, customer centricity, and technology to this role."

Before his promotion, Biesterfeld was president of the North American surface transportation, the largest division of C.H. Robinson. The business accounted for 69 percent of C.H. Robinson's $14.9 billion in 2017 revenue. Biesterfeld also had leadership roles in other divisions, including truckload and Robinson Fresh.

"I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve and support all of our incredible employees across our business units and around the globe," Biesterfeld said. "We are in a strong leadership position in our industry, and we will continue to drive our strategic initiatives forward in order to best serve our customers."

The promotion sets up a clear No. 2 executive at C.H. Robinson. Biesterfeld is 14 years younger than the 56-year-old Wiehoff, who has been chief executive since May 2002 and is one of the longest-tenured leaders of a Minnesota public company.

Biesterfeld will have direct responsibility of C.H. Robinson's five businesses and continue to serve as president of the North American unit. The other division presidents will report directly to him.

"The naming of Bob as COO comes at a time when our business is strong while also managing a dynamic and challenging external environment. The move positions us to better leverage our combined knowledge, skills, and expertise to truly drive enterprise results," Wiehoff said.