4/4/2017
12:30 PM
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McAfee's Back as an Independent Security Firm

Security firm is no longer part of Intel Corp.



McAfee has finalized its planned spinoff from Intel Corp. and as of today returned to its roots as a stand-alone security company.

The move to separate the company was first announced by Intel in September, when the chip company revealed that it planned to sell a majority stake in its McAfee subsidiary to TPG for $3.1 billion after what industry analysts considered a failed investment. Intel purchased McAfee for $7.7 billion in August 2010 in hopes of providing it a security foothold in areas such as wireless mobility and the Internet of Things.

But the combination of Intel and McAfee didn't pan out the way either company had hoped. McAfee said today that the final spinoff deal closed at a value of $4.2 billion, with TPG adding Thomas Bravo as a minority investor in McAfee. Intel, as planned, will retain a 49% stake in McAfee.

The former Intel Security arm's general manager Christopher Young will serve as CEO of the new privately held McAfee.

Steve Grobman, CTO of McAfee and former CTO at Intel Security, says the spinoff allows McAfee to operate more nimbly. "We came to the conclusion that given the pace of changes [in cybersecurity threats] McAfee needs a level of agility to build technology at a rate and pace that matches the threat landscape," Grobman said in an interview with Dark Reading. "As compared with a semiconductor manufacturing company, there's a different technical discipline. The spinout is really about giving both companies the ability to get a lot more focused on our core competency."

It's less about changing direction in strategy for McAfee and more about speeding up the direction it began two years ago with the arrival of Young to Intel Security, Grobman says.

McAfee will continue its security platform focus, as well as moving to cloud security capabilities, he says.

"We are building out our portfolio to adapt to the way the industry is shifting," he says. "As the industry is embracing cloud more aggressively, we're shifting capabilities to the cloud as well."

The new McAfee, which also unveiled a new logo today, will have between 7,500- to 8,000 employees.

"We offer Chris Young and the McAfee team our full support as they establish themselves as one of the largest pure-play cybersecurity companies in the industry," Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, said in a statement. "Security remains important to Intel, and in addition to our equity position and ongoing collaboration with McAfee, Intel will continue to integrate industry-leading security and privacy capabilities in our products from the cloud to billions of smart, connected computing devices."          

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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