Nuix Notes: Monthly updates from the CEO - May24

Written by: Jonathan Rubinsztein

Jonathan Rubinsztein Chief Executive Officer

MAY 2024
When to say no  

It’s not often in business a company would openly reject a sale. Putting purpose above profit and declining a sale. But this is something that I am proud of Nuix for doing, and something we do with thoughtfulness and transparency as a model for doing business.

At Nuix we are fortunate to have what is recognized as one of the most powerful data processing engines of its kind. So, ensuring our technology is used to improve the lives of the people in the community, as a force for good in society is our guiding principle. And if this means there are deals, that we don’t make, cannot make and will not make then that is how I want to do business. 

Yes, as a listed ASX organization, it is our foremost priority to deliver attractive returns – and I’m pleased to say that since my tenure as CEO we have now delivered three consecutive halves of strong growth, and with a return to double digit revenue and ACV growth. 

But in having high standards for business and a responsible approach to sales, I believe we not only contribute to improving justice and society, but most importantly we build trust with our loyal customers, our partners and our communities, and thus in turn create long-term success and value. 

In this respect, I’m aligned to how Larry Fink, the leader of the world’s largest investment fund states it, in one of his annual letters:

“Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them. Profits are in no way inconsistent with purpose — in fact, profits and purpose are inextricably linked.”

To elaborate, a question I am often asked is, do we sell into Greater China? 

We have a Social Responsibility and Ethics Business Committee that reviews every deal, and we often have good debates on the topic of selling to Greater China. We really weigh and interrogate how our technology will be used and we ask three simple questions: 

  • What is the country?
  • Who is the customer?
  • And what is the use case? 

Sure, there is international concern on China’s increased enforcement of their Data Security legislation, resulting in increased restrictions on international data flows, and keeping information in and out from the broader public. 

However, if we believe the customer organization and the use case serves society – safeguards the public and informs justice systems - then we are proud to be able to enable our customers and partners to use our technology as a force for good. 

I am often asked should we work in the turbulent Middle East? If we can partner with a reputable international agency, then our answer is almost always, yes. This is the highest impact way that Nuix can help with some of the most challenging programs to improve stability, safety and justice. 

An example of this was how our software was used by the United Nations Investigative Team to promote Accountability (UNITAD) in their landmark investigative report to the Iraqi Judiciary on Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Crimes Against Humanity. This case was compelling, and we knew that in the hands of the United Nations that our technology would empower and enable the United Nations Investigative Team to review evidence faster and get to the truth. 

Another topical question is that of social media platforms. These platforms collectively serve a massive population online – over half of the world’s population of eight billion people – and with this massive scale and diversity comes challenge.

We believe that we can be a force for good and work with social media platforms to ensure they have the best technology to support them in limiting the spread of misinformation and protecting their communities. And this is especially true where they have publicly committed to governing themselves better, demonstrating compliance and taking appropriate steps to improve. Our software can help them accelerate that, surface the truth and obfuscate nothing with opaque data – which is completely congruent with our mission of finding truth in data.

And so, while we value and want to honor every sale and truly want to help our customers, we do, on the rare occasion say no.  It’s never easy, and we debate and deliberate with care and respect, but we stand by our purpose and our convictions, and take the long-term view on building this business.

To end on a point of levity, I look to the great American philosopher Ted Lasso:

“It's never the wrong thing to do the right thing.”


Jonathan Rubinsztein
Chief Executive Officer