Nutanix CIO Exits Amid Software Misuse Probe

Nutanix Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Wendy Pfeiffer is leaving the hyperconverged cloud infrastructure provider. The company is in the midst of an internal probe into improperly using licensed software for ‘a multi-year period.’


[Editor’s Note: This story was updated on May 11, 2023 to reflect new information provided by Wendy Pfeiffer in a LinkedIn post. The original version characterized her departure from Nutanix as “sudden.” CRN also removed a reference to an all-hands meeting held at Nutanix. A Nutanix spokesperson denied a company-wide meeting took place.]

Nutanix’s Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Wendy Pfeiffer, a six-year company veteran, is leaving the hyperconverged cloud infrastructure provider, which is in the midst of an internal probe for improperly using licensed software for “a multi-year period.”

The company announced Pfeiffer’s departure internally Friday, which was Pfeiffer’s last day at the company, a source close to Nutanix told CRN. Earlier this week, Pfeiffer was a featured panelist at the Wall Street Journal’s CIO Network Summit in Palo Alto, Calif.

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Nutanix did not announce the departure publicly until contacted by CRN.

“Wendy is leaving to pursue an opportunity outside of Nutanix,” the company said in a statement to CRN. “We thank Wendy for her service during her tenure.”

[RELATED: Nutanix To Miss SEC Deadline Amid Internal Software Probe]

CRN reached out to Pfeiffer though LinkedIn on March 17 but did not receive a response back at press time.

The company did not respond to questions about her replacement.

In a LinkedIn post on May 9, Pfeiffer said that she left Nutanix after a year-long job search because in early 2022 “new leadership told me they no longer supported me taking on any more board director roles.”

Pfeiffer’s exit came just two days after the firm received a notice of deficiency from the Nasdaq over its failure to meet Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing guidelines. That notice of deficiency comes 11 days after Nutanix disclosed that it was unable to file its 10-Q with the SEC as a result of a software misuse investigation.

“What we discovered is that certain evaluation software from one of our third-party providers ... which is intended for evaluation purposes, was instead used for validation, interoperability testing and proof of concepts over a multi-year period,” said Nutanix CFO Rukmini Sivaraman. “Because of that we weren’t able to disclose expense information on the call and we have announced that we expect to be unable to file our 10-Q in a timely manner,given that we want to make sure this is resolved first.”

Pfeiffer said she resigned before Nutanix notified the SEC that it would not be able to file its 10-Q. She also said that while she is aware of the subject of Nutanix’s internal probe, she is “required to keep the details of the investigation confidential.”

Nasdaq is giving Nutanix 60 days to file a plan that explains how it plans to “regain compliance” with its SEC filing obligations.

In a filing titled “Notice of Delisting or Failure to Satisfy a Continued Listing Rule or Standard” Nutanix wrote: “(B)ecause the Company has not yet filed its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended January 31, 2023, the Company is not in compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5250(c)(1), which requires Nasdaq-listed companies to timely file all required periodic financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Nutanix said the letter has no immediate effect on the listing or trading of its Class A common stock on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The letter states that Nutanix has 60 calendar days to submit a plan to regain compliance with the Nasdaq Listing Rules. If Nasdaq officials accept the plan, they can give Nutanix six months from the due date to make good on the filing, in this case, Sept. 11 of this year.

If Nasdaq officials refuse Nutanix plan, the company can appeal the decision.

Nutanix has hired a lawyer from outside the company to investigate what it may owe the undisclosed software vendor.

Nutanix released selected preliminary numbers for its second fiscal quarter ended Jan. 31 that showed revenue growth of 18 percent, surging to $486.5 million up from $413.1 million a year ago. Annual recurring revenue was up 32 percent year over year to $1.38 billion in the quarter.

Pfeiffer is a board member at Google cloud solution provider SADA, cybersecurity software provider Qualys and the American Gaming Association. She previously had leadership roles with Yahoo, where she was head of the advanced development division’s data privacy office and business technology programs. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix.