Falkirk bus giant Alexander Dennis appoints new boss

Colin Robertson (left) and Paul Davies

Falkirk-based global bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) said on Tuesday that its CEO Colin Robertson will be appointed to Canadian parent firm NFI’s board as vice chair and be succeeded by Paul Davies as ADL’s president and managing director, effective September 30.

Robertson led the transformation of ADL from delivering an annual turnover of £178 million generated mostly in the UK market to a global revenue of £631 million in 2019.

In May 2019, Souter Investments, the family investment office of Stagecoach Group founder Brian Souter, sold Alexander Dennis to Toronto Stock Exchange listed bus manufacturing giant NFI Group Inc for about £320 million.

Alexander Dennis said: “As part of NFI’s acquisition of ADL in May 2019, Colin Robertson agreed to remain in his current role until May 2020, which has now been extended to 30th September 2020.

“This extension will allow for a period of transition to provide a seamless handover to Paul Davies and to ensure business continuity when Paul returns to his native Scotland in July 2020.”

Davies joined Alexander Dennis in 1997 and has over 25 years of automotive and rail industry experience. As ADL’s regional managing director based in Hong Kong, Davies led the company’s growth in the Asia Pacific region for the past 20 years.

Robertson said: “Leading ADL has been exciting and extremely rewarding.

“I am fiercely proud of what has been achieved through the hard work of the entire team and the collaborative partnerships we’ve developed with our suppliers and customers.

“I know the company will be in fantastic hands. Paul has been a key member of the executive team and lives and breathes ADL’s mission and values.

“With his thorough understanding of our business and the wider industry, I have every confidence that Paul will bring further success to ADL.”

Davies said: “I’ve been very fortunate to have worked for Colin for the past 13 years and I am deeply honoured to have been selected to take on the challenge of continuing the amazing journey that we’ve experienced under his leadership.

“I look forward to continue working with the NFI and ADL teams and our partners to provide world-class transport solutions that deliver for our customers.”

NFI chief executive Paul Soubry said: “I have known Colin for nearly a decade and constantly sought a way to bring our two companies together and in the process gained a tremendous amount of respect for his business expertise and strategic vision.

“Colin’s vast manufacturing background, experience and deep knowledge of the global bus and coach markets will continue to serve NFI well.

“I’m also very excited to work with Paul who has been mentored by Colin for several years as they grew ADL’s presence to be a market leader in the Asia Pacific Region.

“Paul is exactly the right kind of leader to drive the next chapter of ADL as part of NFI.”

Paul Davies’ role as ADL’s Asia Pacific MD will pass to Steve Rose, who joins Alexander Dennis from Cummins where he most recently had been Regional Operations Director, Taiwan & Mongolia, and General Manager, Hong Kong.

About the Author

Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.