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

Photos from the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon awards celebration

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 9975cneditPHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Images from the 2015 celebration of Oregon's great workplaces.


Read more...

European Vacation

Guest Blog
Thursday, April 23, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

There are winners and losers with a strengthening U.S. dollar.


Read more...

Can small be large?

Linda Baker
Wednesday, April 01, 2015
040115-lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.


Read more...

5 questions about the FLIR FX

The Latest
Wednesday, April 08, 2015
FLIR-FX-IndoorBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The Wilsonville-based company is targeting GoPro enthusiasts with its latest release. Is spy gear poised to go mainstream?


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

5 highlights from the Angel Oregon Showcase

The Latest
Thursday, April 23, 2015
IMG 5069BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.


Read more...

Courtside

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Power lunching at the Court Street Dairy Lunch in Salem.


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