New CEO to head Alexander Dennis from October
Paul Davies (pictured), Alexander Dennis’s Asia Pacific regional managing director, is to succeed Colin Robertson as the company’s chief executive officer from 1 October.
As part of the Canadian NFI Group’s acquisition of Alexander Dennis in May last year, Robertson agreed to remain as CEO until May this year, and that agreement has now been extended to 30 September to allow for a period of transition to provide a seamless handover to Davies and to ensure business continuity when Davies returns to his native Scotland in July.
Davies joined Alexander in 1997 and has over 25 years of automotive and rail industry experience. As regional managing director based in Hong Kong, he led the company’s long-term profitable growth in the Asia Pacific region for the past 20 years.
Upon being appointed to the NFI Board in September in the new role as vice chair, Robertson will assist board chair, the Hon Brian Tobin and president and CEO Paul Soubry in supporting NFI’s international growth. He draws on over 30 years of operational and senior leadership experience in manufacturing, including his 13 years as chief executive of Alexander Dennis. During his tenure, he transformed Alexander Dennis into the UK bus market leader and global leader for double-deck buses. It has been consistently profitable with annual turnover increasing nearly fourfold to £631million.
Robertson also chairs Entrepreneurial Scotland and was appointed CBE in 2019 for his services to exports and to the bus and coach manufacturing sector.
“Leading Alexander Dennis 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 Davies has been a key member of the executive team and lives and breathes Alexander Dennis’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 Alexander Dennis.”
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 Alexander Dennis teams and our partners to provide world-class transport solutions that deliver for our customers.”
Tobin says: “The NFI board is thrilled that Colin Robertson has agreed to join our board as vice chair and I look forward to working with him in assisting and overseeing NFI Group’s pursuit of added competitiveness and further international growth.”
“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,” says Soubry. “His 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 Davies, who has been mentored by Colin for several years as they grew Alexander Dennis’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 Alexander Dennis as part of NFI.”
Davies’s role as 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. He has over 40 years of experience in manufacturing, operations and aftermarket support.
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