Ultimate, Kronos join in major HCM merger

Two HR industry powerhouses announced today that they are merging in what is sure to be a significant shakeup in the HCM software marketplace.

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Ultimate Software and Kronos Inc. released the news of the definitive merger agreement Thursday. According to both companies, the move will form one of the world’s largest cloud companies, valued overall at $22 billion. The new company–whose name has not yet been announced–will offer the “best of each company’s solutions,” including  Ultimate’s UltiPro HCM and Employee Experience suite of tools, along with Kronos’ Workforce Dimensions and Workforce Ready.

Both firms have decades of experience as providers of HCM and workforce-management software. Ultimate most recently reported having 6,600 customers worldwide, and, at the close of Fiscal Year 2019, more than 33,000 clients relied on a Kronos cloud solution.

Read also: Steve Boese: A look at what HR leaders think about HR technology

Together, the two ventures are expected to result in a company with $3 billion in revenue.

Steve Boese, chair of the HR Technology Conference & Exposition® says consolidation has long been a trend in the HR-tech industry, but that today’s news ranks “among the largest, and most significant transactions of this type in HR tech.”

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Both companies have a track record of success, he says, and “with this merger, will have the ability to offer customers a robust and comprehensive set of HR solutions, with market-leading solutions for workforce management, payroll and benefits, talent management and more.”

Jeanne Achille, chair of Select HR Tech, adds that “Ultimate and Kronos deliver high value and high impact through solutions that drive digital transformation and engage valuable talent. The combination of their joint resources will no doubt generate further innovation in the HCM category.”
The merger will build a workforce of about 12,000, and there are plans to hire another 3,000 people in the next three years.

The companies said in a press statement that the new organization will be “people inspired,” built around the cultures of Ultimate and Kronos, both of which consistently have ranked at the top of best-of employer lists.

“This reflects both companies’ belief that people are at the core of an organization’s success and that prioritizing the employee experience is the most effective way to help customers succeed,” the companies said.

Kronos CEO Aron Ain will head the new company, which will be headquartered both in Lowell, Mass., and Weston, Fla., and will feature an executive team comprised of representatives of both former companies.

Check back for more updates on this developing story.

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].