Kronos Incorporated

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Kronos Incorporated
Founded October 31, 1977 (1977-10-31)
Founder Mark S. Ain
Headquarters Lowell, Massachusetts, United States
Key people
  • Aron Ain (CEO)
Number of employees
5,300 (2016)
Parent Hellman & Friedman

Kronos Incorporated is a U.S.-based multi-national workforce management software and services company headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts, United States, and employing more than 5,000 people worldwide.[1]


Kronos Incorporated corporate headquarters in Lowell, MA

Kronos was founded in 1977 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Simon Business School alumnus Mark S. Ain.[2] Under Mark Ain's leadership, Kronos sustained one of the longest records of growth and profitability as a public company in software industry history.[3] Ain's brother, Aron Ain,[4] succeeded him as chief executive officer in 2005.[5]

Originally a manufacturer of time clocks, the majority of Kronos revenue is now derived from software and services. The company provides cloud applications[6] for workforce management and human capital management, as well as consulting, education, and support services to its customers.

In March 2007, Kronos was bought out for US$1.74 billion by the lead investor Hellman & Friedman and the secondary investor JMI Equity.[7] In 2014, private equity firms Blackstone and GIC invested in Kronos alongside Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity. In the transaction, Kronos was valued at $4.5 billion.[*]

  • Kronos was founded on October 31, 1977
  • Delivered the world's first microprocessor-based time clock in 1979
  • Kronos became a publicly traded company in 1992 (NASDAQ) and went private again in 2007[7]
  • Delivered its first PC-based time and attendance product in 1985
  • Under Mark Ain's leadership, Kronos sustained one of the longest records of growth and profitability as a public company in software industry history — second only to Microsoft [3][5][7]
  • Kronos hit major milestone and achieved $1 billion in annual revenue in 2014.* [2]
  • In January 2016, Kronos rolled out an unlimited vacation policy, offered at fewer than one in 20 U.S. companies [8]
  • In September 2017, Kronos moved its corporate headquarters from the nearby town of Chelmsford to the Cross Point Towers in Lowell, Massachusetts, consolidating multiple offices under one roof.[9]


Kronos has conducted 71 acquisitions,[10] some of the most notable including:

  • Ad Opt Technologies[11]
  • Principal Decision Systems International (PDSI)[12]
  • The Workforce Solutions software division of SimplexGrinnell[13]
  • Stromberg[14]
  • 3i Systems[15]
  • Unicru, Inc.[17]
  • SMART Computer Holdings and its Spanish affiliate SMART Human Logistics[18]
  • Time Link International Corporation (TimeLink)[19]
  • Empower Software Solutions[20]
  • Financial Management Solutions, Inc. (FMSI) [21]
  • Digital Instinct Pty. Limited[22]

Litigation with EEOC[edit]

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals enforced a subpoena seeking production of documents by Kronos, Inc., in an administrative charge before the EEOC alleging disability discrimination. The charge was brought by an individual job applicant against Kroger Food Co., who did not hire the job applicant and used a Kronos assessment as part of its hiring process. EEOC v. Kronos Incorporated, Civ. Act. No. 11-2834 (September 14, 2012, Third Circuit).[23]

Kronos, which was not a party to the litigation, objected to the EEOC’s subpoena on the basis that the information requested was irrelevant, and production would require Kronos to disclose protected trade secret information. While the District Court sustained nearly all of these objections, the Third Circuit found that the District Court had abused its discretion in limiting the scope of the subpoena to documents pertaining to certain of the assessment tests.

This Kronos assessment, among other things, measures five personality attributes that collectively constitute the "five factor" model: conscientiousness; agreeableness; extroversion; openness; and neuroticism.[24] The Five Factor Model is a "dimensional" model of personality. A "dimension" refers to a continuum on which an individual can have various levels of a characteristic, in contrast to the dichotomous categorical approach in which an individual does or does not possess a characteristic. In the dimensional models of personality disorders, personality disorders are classified according to which characteristics are expressed at which levels. This stands in contrast to the traditional categorical models of classification, which are based on the Boolean presence or absence of symptoms and do not take into account levels of expression of a characteristic or its underlying dimension.[citation needed]

When using selection tests, or when contracting with others to administer such tests, employers need to make sure of three things in particular: First, the tests must have been properly validated for the specific positions and purposes to be used (meaning the test or other selection device must be job-related and its results appropriate for the employer's purpose). Second, the tests must be administered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, or any other protected characteristic. Third, the tests must be routinely reviewed to be sure that they continue to be non-discriminatory as applied and from an adverse impact standpoint.[25] Kronos contends that its assessments are compliant with all applicable requirements.


  1. ^ "Kronos Employees Say Culture, Vision, and Innovation Drive Outstanding Engagement". 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2018-03-18. 
  2. ^ "Meet Mark Ain". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  3. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Aron Ain of Kronos: The Incalculable Value of a Good Boss". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ a b "Kronos(R) Announces Executive Succession Plan; Mark Ain to Become Executive Chairman; Aron Ain to Become Chief Executive Officer; Paul Lacy to Become President". Business Wire. 14 September 2005. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c "Today In Business - Buyout Deal For Kronos". 24 March 2007. Retrieved 18 March 2018 – via 
  8. ^ "The CEO of Kronos on Launching an Unlimited Vacation Policy". 1 November 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  9. ^ "From Mill City to Innovation Hub: Relocating a Global Headquarters Outside Boston - Urban Land Magazine". 20 September 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  10. ^ Ray-Ghosal, Indrani. "Kronos Acquires Financial Management Solutions Inc. to Deepen Financial Services Industry Expertise". Kronos. CHELMSFORD, Mass. Retrieved January 5, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Kronos acquires AD OPT for $68,200,000". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  12. ^ "Page not found". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  13. ^ "Kronos Acquires Australian Workforce Solutions Business of Simplex International Pty. Ltd. in Completion of 2001 Transaction". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  14. ^ "Kronos Acquires Stromberg from Paychex…from Kronos". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  15. ^ "Boston Business Journal: Kronos acquires 3i systems". Retrieved 2018-03-18. 
  16. ^ "Market Watch: Kronos Acquires SMB Workforce Management Leader". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  17. ^ "Kronos(R) Announces Agreement to Acquire Unicru; Combination of Workforce Management and Talent Management Solutions Provides Foundation for Broader HCM Offering and Global Growth". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  18. ^ "Kronos expands global reach with SMART acquisition". Healthcare Finance News. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  19. ^ "Kronos Extends Workforce Management Market Leadership With Acquisition of TimeLink". 2013-08-20. 
  20. ^ "Kronos Acquires Empower Software Solutions". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved 2016-03-24. 
  21. ^ "Kronos Acquires Financial Management Solutions Inc. to Deepen Financial Services Industry Expertise". Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  22. ^ "Kronos Acquires Global Casino Resort Industry Leader Digital Instinct and its Virtual Roster Product". Retrieved 2017-07-27. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Third Circuit Enforces EEOC Subpoena Seeking Test-Maker's Files on Employee Selection Tests Used by Employer - Employment Law Watch". 2 October 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2018. 

External links[edit]