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Board role for Robertson

Leadership change at bus firm Alexander Dennis

Colin Robertson, left, hands over to Paul Davies

Colin Robertson is joining the board of the owner of bus company Alexander Dennis and will be replaced as head of the Larbert plant by long-serving Paul Davies who returns from Hong Kong.

Mr Robertson, who has spearheaded ADL for 13 years, will become vice chairman of Canada-based NFI Group which acquired the company last year in a £320 million deal

He had agreed to remain in his current role until May but will stay in post until September when Mr Davies becomes ADL’s president & managing director.

Mr Davies is due back in his native Scotland in July. He joined Alexander Dennis in 1997 and has more than 25 years of automotive and rail industry experience.

As regional managing director based in Hong Kong, he has led the company’s growth in the Asia Pacific region for the past 20 years.

Mr Robertson, who has spent more than 30 years in manufacturing leadership roles, will assist board chairman, Brian Tobin and Paul Soubry, the president and chief executive of NFI, in supporting NFI’s international growth.

The Alexander Dennis plant has seen growth (pic: Terry Murden)

During his tenure, Mr Robertson transformed ADL into the UK bus market leader and global leader for double deck buses through a relentless focus on the customer and combining operational excellence, innovative products and best-in-class aftermarket support.

Under his leadership, which continued after NFI’s acquisition of ADL in May last year, ADL has been consistently profitable with annual turnover increasing nearly fourfold to £631m. 

He is also the chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland and was appointed a CBE in 2019 for his services to exports and to the bus and coach manufacturing sector.

He 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.”

Mr Davies commented: “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.”

Mr 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.

“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.”

Mr Davies’ role in the Asia Pacific region will pass to Steve Rose, who joins Alexander Dennis from Cummins where he was regional operations director, Taiwan & Mongolia, and general manager, Hong Kong. He has more than 40 years of experience in manufacturing, operations and aftermarket support.

Sixth generation change at Donaldson

Timber firm James Donaldson & Sons has announced that Andrew Donaldson and Michael Donaldson will take over as chief executive and chairman.

As the business celebrates its 160th anniversary, they are the sixth generation of Donaldsons to run the family firm. Andrew was appointed as CEO in April, with Michael taking up his position as chairman from 31 July. 

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