Security firm McAfee might be something of a household name these days, but that has more to do with the over-the-top antics of the company’s founder rather than what it’s achieved in the security space. That’s in spite of the fact that John McAfee hasn’t worked for the company in almost two decades.
But apparently, Intel, the company that snapped up McAfee back in 2011, doesn’t like the brand name of its acquisition being dragged through the mud, as it were. So what’s it going to do about it? Why, it’s going to change the name in an effort to distance itself as much as possible from its ex-fugitive founder, although the software (and the logo) will remain exactly the same.
The rebranding was announced at the CES show in Las Vegas on Monday, during Intel CEO Brian Krzanich’s keynote. He said that the McAfee name would slowly be phased out, replaced by the name “Intel Security”.
“Intel is bringing its award-winning mobile security to every mobile device, phones, tablets, wearables,” said Krzanich his speech.
Krzanich added that Intel Security will retain the signature red shield logo of McAfee, with the rebranding due to come when the next update for its software is rolled out.
Aside from the new name, elements of Intel Security will soon be offered to 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,” said Krzanich. “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.”
When Intel splashed out more than $7 million bucks on McAfee three years ago, it had no idea what the man who gave the company its name would later get up to.
McAfee’s madcap escapades began in April 2012, when he was arrested for possessing an unlicensed weapon and unlicensed drug manufacturing, although no charges were brought against him. But worse was to come when in November of the same year, police in Belize named McAfee as a suspect in the murder of his neighbour. McAfee subsequently fled the country, before being arrested in Guatemala, where he was deported back to the United States.
To be fair, McAfee hasn’t been charged by Belizean authorities in the murder case, but it’s probably not the kind of behavior that Intel wants associated with its security products. There could be other reasons for the rebranding of course – maybe Intel just wants to make a ‘name’ for itself in the security space, but the likelihood is that McAfee’s incredible saga certainly had something to do with it.
In any case, it doesn’t look like the man himself is all that bothered. Just hours after Krzanich’s announcement, McAfee took to Twitter to express his delight at the news…
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) December 12, 2013
…before repeating to the BBC just how elated he was:
“I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users.”
“My elation at Intel’s decision is beyond words.”