Home Archives November 2008 Former tech CEO pedals into a new job

Former tech CEO pedals into a new job

| Print |  Email
Saturday, November 01, 2008

WHEN KYLE RANSON resigned from a faltering InFocus in 2007 after three years at the Wilsonville projector company’s helm, it seemed only logical that the 20-year tech veteran would soldier on in the field he knew best.

But Ranson, an Englishman with a lifelong fancy for bicycling, took a little detour on his way to another CEO post on the East Coast and instead found himself becoming co-president of the Portland bicycle clothing company Showers Pass.

KyleRanson
Kyle Ranson was chief of InFocus before he resigned after 20 years in the tech world. Ranson is now co-president of a clothing company.

PHOTO COURTESY OF SHOWERS PASS

“I took a look at the business plan and said, ‘I think they’re clearly onto something here,’” says Ranson, who was introduced to his now-business partner Ed Dalton by a mutual friend last year. “Since then, it’s been tremendously exciting.”

Originally founded in 1997 in California, Showers Pass now calls Portland home. The company, which has eight employees and a reported $1 million in annual revenues, specializes in high-performance cycling clothing, including jackets, wind vests and pants. The gear is currently available in Portland bike stores and through more than 200 active dealers nationwide.

Though he says he doesn’t miss the tech world, Ranson is glad to bring his years of experience at big boys such as Compaq, and InFocus — which employed 400 and had revenues of $308 million the last year Ranson was there — to the smaller world of cycling apparel. For example, he says the apparel industry supply chain is “really in the dark ages” because it can tie up a company’s cash for long periods of time.

Ranson hopes to implement a supply chain that’s much more streamlined, like those used in high tech. He also says the company is profitable and growing revenues “100% year-on-year,” but it will probably be several years before Showers Pass reaches the ideal business model that he and Dalton envision.

The former InFocus chief says he’s glad to still be in Portland — “It’s like England with good summers,” he says — and he’s excited about the prospects of his new company. In addition to its current lineup of gear, Showers Pass is introducing an urban line of clothing that’s much lower key than normal cycling duds.

“Where I’m from, cycling is just how you get around,” Ranson says. “So you want to be able to wear normal-looking clothes when you’re riding.”

Among the first offerings: the Portland Jacket.                                                

JON BELL


Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

 

More Articles

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Updated: Disrupting innovation

News
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
070814 thumb disputive-innovationBY LINDA BAKER  | OB EDITOR

The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation  — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment. 

Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

OB Video: Dress for Success

News
Wednesday, July 02, 2014
DFSOBY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR

Dress for Success Oregon promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools.


Read more...

Is this employee right?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
081314 thumb employeefeelingsBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

When I say, “Your Employee is Always Right,” I do not mean “right about the facts,” but rather “right about how they feel” and “right about how they want to be led.”


Read more...

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS