Over the last few years, security software company McAfee has been making more headlines for the over-the-top antics of its founder and namesake than for anything it has done in the security space, even though John McAfee has not worked there in roughly twenty years.
So what is Intel, the company that purchased McAfee back in 2011, to do now that the name of its big purchase has been dragged through the name? Keep the software, and the logo, but distance itself as far as possible from the name.
At the Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanichannounced that his company would be phasing out the McAfee name, in favor of the newly branded "Intel Security."
Intel Security will keep McAfee's signature red shield logo, but will also encompass Intel's other products and services in the security space. The change will not happen until the next McAfee update occurs.
Krzanich also announced that Intel plans to offer elements of McAfee’s security solutions for mobile devices for free.
“The complexity of keeping digital identities safe grows as mobile applications and devices become a more important part of our daily lives,” Krzanich said. “Intel’s intent is to intensify our efforts dedicated to making the digital world more secure, and staying ahead of threats to private information on mobile and wearable devices."
Intel spent $7.68 billion on McAfee a little under three years ago, and at the time could have had no idea the headlines that would be coming with it only a short time later.
In April of 2012, John McAfee wasarrested for unlicensed drug manufacturing and possession of an unlicensed weapon, though he was never charged.
Then, in November of the same year, he became a suspect of a murder investigation of his neighbor in Belize. McAfee fled the country and became a fugitive. He was arrested while trying to sneak into Guatamala, and was eventually deported to the United States. McAfee has not been charged in the murder case.
So, yeah, not exactly the type of behavior that Intel wants people thinking of when they use the product.
Of course, there could be other reasons for the rebranding as well. Intel may want to become a bigger name in the security space, and it will also be easier and less confusing for users who want to sign up for their services.
But it is hard to not think that the incredible saga of John McAfee over the last few years had at least a little bit to do with it.
(Image source: http://www.waije.com)