ADL CEO Colin Robertson steps down a year after sale to NFI

Colin Robertson is stepping down as Alexander Dennis chief executive, making way for Paul Davies to take over. Robertson joins the board of parent company NFI as vice chair, while Paul Davies, who joined ADL in 1997, will return to the Scottish-headquartered company in July from his role in Hong Kong as ADL Asia Pacific regional managing director where he has led the business’ growth for the past 20 years.

As part of NFI’s deal to acquire ADL last May, Robertson agreed to remain in his current role until May 2020, which has now been extended to 30 September 2020 to enable a smooth handover to Davies. 

During his tenure, Robertson has seen ADL’s annual turnover increasing nearly fourfold to £631million. A major export drive has been a key part of the strategy under Robertson. International activities accounted for less than a quarter of turnover when he became chief executive in 2007, and ADL successfully won business in new markets including Mexico, Switzerland, New Zealand and Singapore.  

“Leading ADL has been exciting and extremely rewarding,” he says. “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 adds: “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.” 

Paul Davies’ role as ADL managing director for the Asia Pacific region 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. Rose has over 40 years’ experience in manufacturing, operations and aftermarket support.