Ron has been an innovator in the automotive industry since 1985 when he identified a niche market in the Northwest and opened a credit union auto-buying service. Three years later, that company had more than $80 million in revenue, was the region’s largest provider, and in 1998 was acquired by Autoland, Inc., the nation’s leading credit union auto buying service.
Ron took over as COO at Autoland, eventually becoming President and then CEO of a 75-unit operation selling more than 10,000 units annually. During that time, he facilitated the acquisition of two companies, developed a successful call center, launched one of the nation’s first virtual used car centers, and closed a round of VC financing. In 2005, Autoland, Inc. was purchased by TrueCar, and Ron became a partner and acting COO at TrueCar, establishing operational controls and strategic priorities for the company as they conducted a formal management search.
In 2007, Ron was hired by AutoNation, Inc. as the President of AutoNation Direct, a subsidiary tasked with developing and testing bold new initiatives in transactional sales outside the traditional store environment. Promoted to Chief Strategy Officer for AutoNation, Ron used AutoNation Direct as a working beta model, establishing the vision, planning, and oversight for AutoNation Express, the parent company’s fresh, industry-leading approach to sales, launched in 2015.
In 2015, Ron founded RL Frey to advise companies of all sizes to implement innovative solutions, combined with a pragmatic and disciplined approach, and to provide a wealth of experience and an inspired vision for the future. Ron also serves on the Boards of Directors for both Dealer Tire and Progressus Media. Most recently, Ron joined CDK Global as EVP, Chief Strategy Officer where he leads M&A, Product and Global Strategy. CDK Global is the largest global provider of integrated information technology and digital marketing solutions to the automotive retail industry.