(Aug. 24) There’s new leadership at the top of C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., but the 101-year-old company will not alter its bedrock commitment to a produce business that has helped feed the company’s growth, according to its newly elected chairman.

John Wiehoff, who came to the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based logistics giant in 1992 and has been the company’s president and chief executive officer, was elected chairman of the board Aug. 17, effective Dec. 31.

He will succeed Sid Verdoorn, 67, a 40-year company veteran who recently announced his retirement.

The move came a little more than four years after Verdoorn had stepped away from day-to-day control of the company as CEO, placing Wiehoff in charge at that time.

Wiehoff, 44, said the company was built on its service to the produce industry and that its commitment to shipping fresh fruits and vegetables won’t diminish under his leadership.

Wiehoff became president in 1999, after having served as a senior vice president and chief financial officer. He joined Robinson as a controller in 1992.

“The history of C.H. Robinson is about having high-quality people, training and relationships, and so one of the things I’m trying to do is just maintain those long-term standards,” he said.

“So one of the leadership challenges at Robinson is just to continue to bring in the right caliber of people to make sure we’re continuing the team. But that is very much a constant from the past.”

The key to the company’s further growth is finding ways to expand its roster of services, Wiehoff said.

C.H. Robinson, which serves 20,500 customers through 200 offices in North America, Europe, Asia and South America, has the largest logistics network in North America, with contracts with more than 40,000 carriers.

The company is working to expand its reach globally, Wiehoff said.