Robertson to join NFI Group board as Paul Davies takes over at ADL

Robertson (left) will be succeeded by Paul Davies

NFI Group, the Canadian parent company of UK bus builder Alexander Dennis, has announced that Colin Robertson, ADL’s chief executive, will step down from his post on September 30.

Following the acquisition of ADL by NFI last year, he was asked to remain in place as chief executive for a year, which has now been extended by three months.

After leaving ADL, Robertson will join the board of the parent company as vice chair. He will be succeeded at ADL by Paul Davies, regional managing director of ADL’s operations in the Asia Pacific region based in Hong Kong.

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

In his new role with the parent company, Robertson will assist board chair Brian Tobin and Paul Soubry, president and chief executive of NFI, in plans for further international growth.

Robertson has over three decades experience of operational and senior leadership experience in manufacturing, including his 13 years as chief executive of ADL. During his tenure, Robertson has led the transformation of ADL from delivering an annual turnover of £178m generated mostly in the UK market to a global revenue of £631m in 2019.

Under his leadership, which continued after NFI’s acquisition of ADL in May 2019, ADL has been consistently profitable with annual turnover increasing nearly fourfold to £631m. His efforts were recognised with a CBE in 2019 for his services to exports and to the bus and coach manufacturing sector.

Davies has been with ADL and its predecessors since 1997. He has over 25 years of automotive and rail industry experience and as regional managing director based in Hong Kong, Davies led the company’s long-term profitable growth in the Asia Pacific region for the past 20 years.

Commenting on his promotion, he 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.”

Davies’ role in Hong Kong 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.

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