Kronos Incorporated

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Kronos Incorporated
FoundedOctober 31, 1977; 45 years ago (1977-10-31)
FounderMark S. Ain
DefunctApril 1, 2020 (2020-04-01)
FateMerged with Ultimate Software
SuccessorUltimate Kronos Group
Key people
Revenue$1.433 billion (2019)[1]
OwnerHellman & Friedman
Number of employees
6,000 (2019)[2]

Kronos Incorporated was an American multinational workforce management and human capital management cloud provider headquartered in Lowell, Massachusetts, United States, which employed more than 6,000 people worldwide.[3]

In February 2020, the company announced a merger with Ultimate Software and that the combined company would be led by Aron Ain and be called Ultimate Kronos Group. The merger was officially completed on April 1, 2020.


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.[4] Under Mark Ain's leadership, Kronos sustained one of the longest records of growth and profitability as a public company in software industry history.[5]

In 1979, Kronos delivered the world's first microprocessor-based time clock and, in 1985, delivered its first PC-based time and attendance product.

In 1992, Kronos became a publicly-traded company on NASDAQ.

Aron Ain,[6] succeeded his brother Mark Ain as chief executive officer in 2005.[7]

In March 2007, Kronos went private again, bought out for US$1.74 billion by the lead investor Hellman & Friedman and the secondary investor JMI Equity.[8]

In 2012, 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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11] This was the first year that the company achieved $1 billion in annual revenue.[12]

In 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.[13]

In February 2020, the company announced a merger with Ultimate Software and that the combined company will be led by Aron Ain.[14][15]

In April 2020, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kronos introduced an automated report-generating tool to aid contact tracing.[16] The tool analyzes work and attendance records of employees who test positive (or presumed positive) for COVID-19 to generate a report of potentially affected co-workers.[17]

On December 13, 2021, Kronos announced that, on December 11, it was discovered that Kronos had been subject to a ransomware attack which disabled the functionality of the Kronos Private Cloud software for "up to several weeks".[18] This breach forced many Kronos customers including municipalities, universities, and private employers to resort to alternative methods, including issuance of paper checks, to properly pay their employees.[19]


Originally a manufacturer of time clocks, the majority of Kronos' revenue is now derived from software and services. The company provides cloud applications[20] for workforce management and human capital management, as well as consulting, education, and support services to its customers.


Kronos has conducted a number of acquisitions,[21] with some of the most notable including:

  • Principal Decision Systems International (PDSI)[22]
  • The Workforce Solutions software division of SimplexGrinnell[23]
  • Stromberg[24]
  • 3i Systems[25]
  • Time Link International Corporation (TimeLink)[27]
  • Empower Software Solutions[28]
  • Financial Management Solutions, Inc. (FMSI) [29]
  • Digital Instinct Pty. Limited[30]
  • OptiLink[31]


  1. ^ "Kronos Has Record 2019: Annual Recurring Revenue Crosses $1 Billion | Kronos".
  2. ^ "Kronos To Hit $1.5B In Revenue In $22.5B Human Capital Software Market". Forbes. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  3. ^ "Kronos Employees Say Culture, Vision, and Innovation Drive Outstanding Engagement". 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2018-03-18.
  4. ^ "Meet Mark Ain". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. ^ Turchin, Brian. "THE BIG THREE: MICROSOFT, SAP- AND KRONOS?" (PDF). Software Business. Archived from the original (September/October 2003) on March 29, 2004. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  6. ^ Bryant, Adam (September 9, 2016). "Aron Ain of Kronos: The Incalculable Value of a Good Boss". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "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. September 14, 2005.
  8. ^ "Today In Business - Buyout Deal For Kronos". The New York Times. March 24, 2007. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  9. ^ "Appellant v. KRONOS INCORPORATED" (PDF). UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT. June 26, 2012. Archived from the original (No. 11-2834) on October 4, 2013.
  10. ^ Offer, Meghan O. (October 2, 2012). "Third Circuit Enforces EEOC Subpoena Seeking Test-Maker's Files on Employee Selection Tests Used by Employer". Employment Law Watch. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  11. ^ Mike Spector; Gillian Tan (20 February 2014). "Blackstone, GIC Invest in Kronos". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  12. ^ Dan Primack. "Kronos hits $1 billion revenue mark". Fortune. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
  13. ^ Hoban, Michael (September 20, 2017). "From Mill City to Innovation Hub: Relocating a Global Headquarters Outside Boston". Urban Land Magazine. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  14. ^ Webster, Kayla (February 21, 2020). "HCM giants Kronos and Ultimate Software merge". Employee Benefit News. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Gottfried, Miriam; Lombardo, Cara (February 20, 2020). "Two Big Workplace-Software Providers to Merge". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  16. ^ Sarkar, Brinda (2020-04-29). "Kronos introduces employee contact-tracing capability". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  17. ^ Golden, Ryan (2020-04-30). "Kronos unveils contact tracing to track COVID-19 spread at work". HR Dive. Retrieved 2020-06-17.
  18. ^ "Kronos Private Cloud Status Updates | UKG". 2021-12-14. Archived from the original on 2021-12-14. Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  19. ^ Sullivan, Becky; Franklin, Jonathan (2021-12-16). "Kronos hack will likely affect how employers issue paychecks and track hours". NPR. Retrieved 2021-12-31.
  20. ^ Pang, Albert (December 2, 2019). "Kronos Incorporated Among Cloud Top 500 Software Vendors | Apps Run The World".
  21. ^ Ray-Ghosal, Indrani. "Kronos Acquires Financial Management Solutions Inc. to Deepen Financial Services Industry Expertise". Kronos. CHELMSFORD, Mass. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  22. ^ "Kronos Acquires Public Safety Scheduling Leader PDSI and its TeleStaff Product". Business Wire. 2 May 2011.
  23. ^ "Kronos Acquires Australian Workforce Solutions Business of Simplex International Pty. Ltd. in Completion of 2001 Transaction". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  24. ^ "Kronos Acquires Stromberg from Paychex…from Kronos". HRchitect. October 14, 2009. Archived from the original on November 17, 2014. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  25. ^ Kizielewiz, Jim (September 22, 2004). "Kronos acquires 3i systems". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  26. ^ "Kronos Acquires SMB Workforce Management Leader". Business Wire. March 28, 2012.
  27. ^ "Kronos Extends Workforce Management Market Leadership With Acquisition of TimeLink". August 20, 2013. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016.
  28. ^ "Kronos Acquires Empower Software Solutions". Yahoo Finance. Retrieved March 24, 2016.
  29. ^ "Kronos Acquires Financial Management Solutions Inc. to Deepen Financial Services Industry Expertise". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  30. ^ "Kronos Acquires Global Casino Resort Industry Leader Digital Instinct and its Virtual Roster Product". Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  31. ^ "Kronos acquires OptiLink to strengthen workforce management offerings". Retrieved September 21, 2020.

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