CES 2014: Intel Renames Security Brand To Wash Itself Of John McAfee
January 8, 2014

CES 2014: Intel Renames Security Brand To Wash Itself Of John McAfee

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

Intel is shedding the McAfee brand name of its security products in a bid to distance itself from John McAfee, the controversial founder of the anti-virus software firm.

The chipmaker, which acquired McAfee in 2010 for $7.7 billion, announced the move late Monday during the International CES in Las Vegas, saying it will rebrand its McAfee subsidiary as Intel Security, but will retain the familiar red shield logo that customers have come to recognize.

In response to the announcement, John McAfee told Reuters on Tuesday that he is glad that the chipmaker plans to drop his name from its products.

"I've been begging them to drop the brand or fix the product," said McAfee, who founded McAfee software in the late 1980s.

Intel’s move is not entirely surprising. Last summer, McAfee was seen in a profanity-laced video attacking the quality of the software produced by the company. He said he frequently receives emails from frustrated customers who complain the software degrades the performance of their computers and is difficult to remove.

Intel has repeatedly called such charges "ludicrous" and without merit. Michael Fey, the company’s chief technology officer, told Reuters that the company was not concerned about the McAfee video because customers knew it has been roughly two decades since McAfee had worked for the company.

"Everybody realized the man was trying to get a laugh or make a joke. It is far from something that most buyers took seriously," he said.

"We didn't really feel much pressure,” he said, adding that it will nevertheless be a relief to be able to ignore McAfee's flamboyant antics once Intel stops using his name.

"As an employee I am happy to stop having to answer that.”

Questions about Intel's intentions to retain the McAfee brand name began surfacing in late 2012, when McAfee fled Belize after police sought to question him about the murder of a neighbor. The incident received a high degree of publicity, and McAfee said at the time that he was being framed for a murder he did not commit.

In December of that year, McAfee returned to the United States and has been developing a technology known as D-Central, which he says will help keep Internet communications safe from the prying eyes of the government.

In his video criticizing Intel’s software, McAfee is seen undressed and surrounded by a group of young women as he fires a gun into a computer – something McAfee says he did to mock the unfair portrayal of him in the media.

"I am who I am. I'm sorry I live on the edge and enjoy life and don't care what people think of me," he told Reuters on Tuesday. "I'm sorry that the software has my name."

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, McAfee expressed relief at Intel’s move, saying that both he and the chipmaker can finally be happy.

"I really am elated beyond description," he said. "Everyone thinks I've written the worst software in the world. But I've had nothing to do with that company for 20 years."