UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group) CEO Aron Ain fiercely contends that great businesses are powered by great people and that there is a direct link between employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and business success – and he has proof. Since becoming Kronos CEO in 2005, Ain and team put a laser focus on employee engagement as a growth strategy and saw worldwide employee engagement scores skyrocket as revenue nearly tripled to beyond $1.5 billion.
In April 2020, Kronos and Ultimate Software merged, and Ain was tapped to be the CEO and chairman of the newly combined company with more than 12,000 employees worldwide and $3 billion in revenue. With more than 50,000 organizations using its solutions across 115+ countries, UKG is a leading global provider of workforce management and human capital management (HCM) cloud solutions.
Ain joined Kronos in 1979 and – as the only company he’s ever worked for – has played a role in nearly every functional department at the company, helping to build a global enterprise software powerhouse. Regarded as a pioneer in workforce management and HCM, Ain has been instrumental in revolutionizing the way organizations manage their workforces with a new generation of products and services that empower employees to work smarter, work their way, and work in a modern cloud. UKG industry-leading cloud, analytics, and mobile technologies are designed to serve global customer needs, increase productivity, manage compliance risk, and drive employee engagement.
As a multiyear recipient of Glassdoor’s Top CEOs distinction, Ain believes anything is possible when people are inspired and that great management is the single largest component that adds to shareholder value and company performance. In recognition of Ain’s visionary leadership, entrepreneurial spirit, and personal commitment to business and the community, he has been awarded numerous prestigious awards, including being named the inaugural recipient of the “Ray Stata Leadership and Innovation Award” from the Massachusetts High Technology Council, “CEO of the Year” by the Mass Technology Leadership Council, and “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young.
Under Ain’s leadership, UKG continues to be recognized for its innovative product offerings, exceptional services, and energized Top Place to Work corporate culture around the world. He has been profiled by The New York Times about “The Incalculable Value of a Good Boss” and was featured in both Harvard Business Review and the HBR IdeaCast podcast series discussing his unique outlook on the employee experience and how the company works diligently to be a great employer. This continued recognition for the company’s award-winning culture culminated in the 2018 release of Ain’s debut book, “WorkInspired: How to Build an Organization Where Everyone Loves to Work,” which chronicles the specific Kronos employee engagement journey and imparts lessons Ain has learned onto senior leaders, HR professionals, and people managers to turn employee engagement into a strategic weapon.
Passionate about delivering the experience that customers expect, Ain asserts that employee retention leads to loyal and satisfied customers. According to Ain, “Employees who feel valued stay longer and develop a deeper understanding of and stronger relationships with our customers. It is their experience and knowledge that allows UKG to deliver incredibly innovative products and a superior customer experience.” Ain’s focus on the customer experience is the reason that a customer-first orientation is a core value intricately woven into the fabric of the company.
Kronos achieved tremendous global growth under Ain’s direction, with operations and market leadership throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. As a result of driving the company’s global expansion, traveling the world to spend time with customers and partners, and leading a multinational software company, Ain is well-versed on the complexities of managing a global workforce. He is frequently asked to share his experiences by speaking about entrepreneurship and the skills necessary to lead a successful global organization.
Ain believes that being an active participant in the broader community brings balance to his life and allows him to give back in recognition of all the guidance he has received over his career. Ain serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Hamilton College, in Clinton, New York, is a member of the Board of Trustees at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass., and serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP) in Boston, Mass.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree in economics and government from Hamilton College, Ain has participated in a series of executive education programs, including the AEA/Stanford Executive Institute at Stanford University.