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Aron Ain, Former UKG CEO, to Join Hellman & Friedman as Operating Partner

calendarFebruary 8, 2023
Aron Ain, Former UKG CEO, to Join Hellman & Friedman as Operating Partner

Joins David Simmons, Former PPD CEO, to Lead the H&F CEO Council

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Hellman & Friedman (H&F), a premier global private equity firm, today announced that Aron Ain is joining the firm in an advisory role as an Operating Partner and member of the H&F CEO Council. Ain is a long-standing software technology executive who previously served as the founding CEO of UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll and workforce management solutions. Ain will continue to serve as Executive Chair of UKG, where he remains actively involved with the Company, including working closely with current and future UKG customers and partners, providing support to the leadership team, and promoting the UKG brand worldwide.

“We have worked with Aron for over 15 years and watched him inspire leaders, colleagues, customers and partners, while also creating one of the world’s leading HCM cloud companies. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Aron and have his support driving value creation and building strong leadership and culture across our portfolio,” said David Tunnell, Partner at H&F.

“Aron is an exceptional leader who created tremendous value and an award-winning culture during his time as CEO of UKG and Kronos, and we are thrilled that H&F portfolio companies will benefit from his guidance and support,” said Patrick Healy, Chief Executive Officer at H&F.

H&F was an early private equity investor in large cap software with its first investment in the late 1990s and has become a market leader in technology investing with over $21 billion of equity invested in support of long-term growth in category-leading businesses. H&F led the take-private transactions for Kronos and Ultimate Software in 2007 and 2019, respectively, which subsequently merged to become UKG in 2020.

Ain joins David Simmons on the H&F CEO Council. David Simmons joined H&F in an advisory role as an Operating Partner earlier this year after serving for 10 years as CEO of PPD, a leading contract research organization offering services to biopharmaceutical companies across the clinical development spectrum. H&F was an investor in PPD from 2011 to 2021, when the Company was sold to Thermo Fisher. “The H&F CEO Council is part of our collaborative and differentiated approach to harness the leadership and operational acumen of these distinguished executives to support our portfolio companies and tailor their value creation plans for today’s complex environment,” said Allen Thorpe, Partner of H&F.

About Aron Ain
Aron Ain serves in an advisory role as an Operating Partner with Hellman & Friedman and member of the H&F CEO Council, where he brings more than 40 years of leadership experience. He also serves as Executive Chair of UKG, a leading provider of HR, payroll and workforce management solutions and one of the largest private enterprise cloud software companies in the world.

Aron firmly believes that great businesses are powered by great people, anything is possible when people are inspired at work and in life, and great management is the single-largest business component that adds to shareholder value and company performance. Aron is a multi-time honoree on Glassdoor’s Top CEOs list and is regarded as a pioneer in workforce and human capital management. He has been instrumental in helping to change the way organizations around the world manage their workforces and empower their people.

Before transitioning to Executive Chair in 2022, Aron served as the founding CEO of UKG. In 2020, Aron helped lead the merger between Kronos Incorporated and Ultimate Software — creating one of the largest private software companies in the world and leading employees, currently over 15,000 in number, successfully through the merger amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The following year, UKG made history by becoming the first newly merged entity to land on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, debuting at #6. Aron joined Kronos in 1979 and held roles in nearly every functional department, working his way up to become CEO in 2005.

About David Simmons
David Simmons serves in an advisory role as an Operating Partner with Hellman & Friedman and member of the H&F CEO Council. He previously served as Chairman and CEO of PPD from 2012 until the company was acquired by Thermo Fisher Scientific in 2021. In this role, he led the company’s global workforce of more than 26,000 employees, across 46 countries, in the design and execution of drug development programs on behalf of pharmaceutical industry customers.

Under his leadership, PPD’s number of employees more than doubled and the company received numerous accolades. Simmons was named the recipient of the Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., Excellence Award by The Carlyle Group in 2017 for exemplifying leadership excellence. Simmons came to PPD following 15 years with Pfizer Inc. In his most recent position with Pfizer, he was president of the emerging markets and established products business units.

David Simmons began his career in the steel industry with Wheeling-Nisshin Steel based in Follansbee, WV. He serves on the boards of directors of Cordis, an innovative cardiovascular medical technology company, and CURIA, a biopharmaceutical manufacturing company. He also serves as a senior advisor to Abingworth, a leading life sciences venture capital firm. He is active in philanthropic endeavors, which includes leading The Simmons Family Foundation and serving as a trustee of the Linsly School in Wheeling, West Virginia.

About Hellman & Friedman
Hellman & Friedman is a preeminent global private equity firm with a distinctive investment approach focused on large-scale equity investments in high quality growth businesses. H&F seeks to partner with world-class management teams where its deep sector expertise, long-term orientation and collaborative partnership approach enable companies to flourish. H&F targets outstanding businesses in select sectors including software & technology, financial services, healthcare, consumer & retail, and other business services.

Since its founding in 1984, H&F has invested in over 100 companies. The firm is currently investing its tenth fund, with $24.4 billion of committed capital, and has over $85 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2022. Learn more about H&F’s defining investment philosophy and approach to sustainable outcomes at


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