Cornerstone OnDemand announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Skillsoft to acquire SumTotal, a learning and talent management software provider for approximately $200 million in a cash transaction.

The acquisition comes less than a month after the completion of Cornerstone’s acquisition of EdCast, an innovative learning experience platform. The deal is expected to close sometime in the second half of this year.

“The additional depth of SumTotal, particularly in high-consequence vertical markets, is an ideal complement to Cornerstone, CEO Himanshu Palsule said in a press release.

The acquisition fits well into a broader context of Cornerstone’s growth strategy.  Cornerstone is a pioneer in the learning and talent market. The SumTotal acquisition is a continuation of Cornerstone’s solidification as a market leader in the learning and talent technology space which comes on the heels of the Saba and Edcast acquisitions.  In particular, the acquisition of EdCast enables Cornerstone to accelerate its strategy for offering platform-agnostic innovation — across learning, skills, content, and mobility experiences.   In summary, the acquisition of SumTotal expands Cornerstone’s market reach and vertical expertise.  Cornerstone will also have a broader base of customers that can access its innovative technologies — a critical step in the company’s continued growth. 

Brandon Hall Group research shows that highly regulated industries are 31% more likely than other industries to say new technology is needed to develop highly engaging learning for the hybrid workforce. 

SumTotal, which has been owned by Skillsoft since 2014, offers a talent development suite that enables a learning-centric, comprehensive talent development strategy covering the entire employee lifecycle. 

SumTotal, in improving its functionalities in recent years, has done what Brandon Hall Group has advocated for years — connecting all talent processes in multiple ways. In doing so, it has designed an elegant user experience that is hyper-intuitive and highly configurable.

SumTotal’s Talent Development solution orchestrates the development of employee career paths by preparing managers for performance management discussions, establishing compensation models and succession planning throughout the employee lifecycle. The combination of onboarding, a robust LMS and talent management capabilities, on top of career planning/pathing and individual development plans, allows for a complete people development execution.“

The acquisition of SumTotal continues to underscore the fundamental growth thesis we see for Cornerstone as a leading talent management SaaS platform provider,” Clearlake Capital Group officials said in a press release. “We are excited to continue building on Cornerstone’s industry reputation for providing innovative software solutions to our customers through acquisitions and organic initiatives.”

–Michael Rochelle, Chief Strategy Officer and Principal HCM Analyst
–Claude Werder, Senior VP and Principal HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

 About Brandon Hall Group Inc. 

Brandon Hall Group is the only professional development company that offers data, research, insights and certification to Learning and Talent executives and organizations. The best minds in Human Capital Management (HCM) choose Brandon Hall Group to help them create future-proof employee development plans for the new era. For over 28 years, we have empowered, recognized and certified excellence in organizations around the world influencing the development of over 10,000,000 employees and executives. Our HCM Excellence Awards was the first to recognize organizations for learning and talent and is the gold standard, known as the “Academy Awards of Human Capital Management.” Our cloud-based platform delivers evidence-based insights in the areas of Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent Acquisition and HR/Workforce Management for corporate organizations and HCM solution providers. To learn more, visit For information on Brandon Hall Group’s research and how we can assist your organization, please visit

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Michael Rochelle

Chief Strategy Officer Michael Rochelle Michael is responsible for consulting, strategic services and advisory support for our members. Michael brings 25 years experience in commercial and operational strategy and execution including key roles in sales, marketing, business development, strategy, program management and operations in Fortune 500 and venture-backed start-up organizations. Michael has served in a variety of senior and executive team roles including Strategy and Program Management Officer and Vice President Business Development and Corporate Services (HR and IT) at Nabi Biopharmaceuticals, Chief Business Officer at Quonova LLC, Vice President, Marketing and Business Development at International Clinical Laboratories and Director of Corporate Business Development at SmithKline Beecham. Michael also held field sales, sales management, market planning and corporate business development roles for Genzyme and RedPath. In addition to his corporate experience, Michael also held management consulting roles. At Employee Information Services, Michael was Vice President and a member of the executive team responsible for leading the management consulting division, client services and business operations. Before his tenure at Employee Information Services, Michael was a principal and senior consultant at RSA, an industry leading employee services management consulting firm. Michael received his B.A. from Assumption College and MBA from Bryant University.