Nuix’s CEO and CFO step down amid IPO questions

Nuix’s CEO and CFO step down amid IPO questions

Follows investigation into Nuix’s governance and historical financial accounting.

Rod Vawdrey (Nuix)

Rod Vawdrey (Nuix)

Credit: Supplied

The chief executive and chief financial officers of beleaguered software company Nuix have resigned amid allegations concerning its $1.8 billion public listing.  

Nuix’s CEO Rod Vawdrey has told shareholders via a statement lodged with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) that he had “given notice of his decision to retire”. 

At the same time, CFO Stephen Doyle's employment was “terminated by mutual agreement”, according to a separate ASX notice. 

Vawdrey said he will continue in his role for the time being while Nuix searches for a new CEO to “allow for an orderly leadership transition”. 

The departures follow a media investigation into Nuix’s financial accounting in the years leading up to the data forensics company’s initial public offering (IPO) in 2020.  

“Nuix is a great company with world-leading technology, an extraordinary portfolio of clients, and an incredibly passionate and committed team of employees. We are confident that the pool of candidates will be a deep one and the board is very focused on attracting the right individual to take on the role,” said chair Jeff Bleich.  

Formerly CEO of Fujitsu Australia, Vawdrey joined Nuix in May 2017 following the departure of Eddie Sheedy in January that year.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is investigating whether Nuix’s primary backer Macquarie Group overstated the company's sales forecasts ahead of its listing. 

The outlet reported that ASIC has warned the two to retain relevant documentation stretching back to 2018. 

ASIC’s investigation into the Nuix float follows revelations by The SMH, The Age and The Australian Financial Review of an apparent six-year gap in Nuix’s records. 

The Australian Federal Police is also investigating possible breaches of the Corporations Act involving Nuix co-founder Anthony Castagna. 

Castagna resigned from Nuix's board last year in November and recently had a consultancy agreement terminated by the company. 

According to The SMH, Nuix, which is 76 per cent-owned by Macquarie, is facing questions over Castagna’s $3000 options package which delivered him an $80 million windfall when the company went public.  

In 2019, Castagna successfully appealed convictions of tax evasion and money laundering, for which he was sentenced to seven years’ prison the year before. 

According to reports at the time, the former chairman used a complicated scheme to avoid paying tax on his income while he was a technology consultant for Macquarie Bank. 

A jury found that Castagna had failed to correctly declare some $5.7 million of income and bonuses. 

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