The Rebrand of Two Iconic Companies in the Industry: Kronos and Ultimate Software

By Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

After many months of painstaking research and conversations with employees, customers, prospects and industry experts, a new simple but powerful name has emerged — UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group). Mergers are complex and difficult to make work, especially when combining two powerhouse cultures and a wide array of products and services. Choosing a new name that embodies everything about the previous organizations and laying the ground for a new vision and mission is a daunting task. UKG is a brilliant solution to the challenges in rebranding both companies.

Two iconic brand names are removed from the market. However, a new name that has its own super brand power potential has emerged. The premise is simple: take two distinct market-making brands and combine them through a unifying name.

The messaging around the new brand, “Our Purpose is People” embodies the two companies’ cultures; both great places to work and filled to the brim with inspirational and passionate people totally focused on people at work.

The rebranding of the two companies provides a new and exciting platform to drive greater advancement in the reshaping, reimagining and rethinking of how people interact, perform, develop and thrive at work. The rebranding acknowledges the significant milestones both companies achieved in their past and, at the same time, provides a bright line to what the future holds for the new company.

UKG is a reflection of seven decades of combined experience, expertise and know-how from the two industry leaders in the field of HR transformation. The new UKG name clearly builds upon this unmatched industry depth and breadth by reflecting the strength and innovation of both brands yet also bringing singularity, common purpose and a shared vision for current and prospective clients.

A leadership-level provider in the field of HR must share a common goal with their clients that people need to feel they are valued, inspired to leverage their individuality to develop to their full potential, deliver breakthrough performance and feel a sense of community and belonging in their organization. Ultimate and Kronos are people-centered organizations big hearts for their employees — and their clients’ employees. The new brand exemplifies this people-centric notion and symbolizes the level of commitment the combined companies have for their clients. UKG represents a continuation of the great products and services clients have come to know and creates an air of excitement for what is to come.

Michael Rochelle @MichaelRochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.