Board Member, KCRise Fund, LLC
Ron LeMay is a successful corporate executive, serial entrepreneur, and early-stage investor with over 50 years of experience.
Ron serves as Managing Director and Co-Founder of OpenAir Equity Partners, as well as CEO of one of its portfolio companies, Main Street Data, and Chairman of others of its portfolio companies. Ron specializes Agriculture Data Science, Broadband Networks, Solar Energy, and the “Internet of Things.” The OpenAir Equity Partners portfolio includes companies engaged in each of those spaces.
Previously, Ron served as President–COO of Sprint. As the first employee and CEO of Sprint PCS, Ron guided the company from startup to $10 billion in annual revenues faster than any company in U.S. history and grew the company from one—that is, just Ron—to 35 thousand employees in slightly more than four years. Ron led Sprint Long Distance in its startup period in the late 1980s and early 1990s when it grew to $10 billion in annual revenues among the top ten of all time. Upon retiring from Sprint in 2003, he served as CEO of Japan Telecom, where he orchestrated the company’s turnaround and successful sale to SoftBank at an internal rate or return exceeding 500%.
Ron served as Chairman of Global One, the largest global telecom consortium at the time. In addition, Ron was instrumental in the launch of GoGo Inflight Internet Services, the leading global broadband in-flight Internet service having served as Chairman of the Board twice and CEO during its launch. GoGo Inflight split its businesses by selling the commercial business to Intelsat for $400 million and retaining the private aviation business as a separate public company. Ron co-founded Hyla Mobile, the company that invented the wireless device trade-in program for carriers, which grew to become the global leader in that space and exited at ~$350 million producing a triple digit internal rate of return for OpenAir Equity Partners's investors. Ron was founder of Zave Networks, which sold to Google for approximately $100 million, another triple digit internal rate of return. He has served on eight public company boards and numerous private company boards over the last 20 years.
A native of Arkansas, Ron attended Southern Arkansas University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business. He also attended the University of Arkansas School of Law where he graduated with honors. Ron and his wife reside in Kansas City and spend time enjoying their seven grandchildren.