Anti-virus software drops McAfee from its brand name

Intel Security makes a new name for itself

Benoit Aquin for Maclean's

McAfee anti-virus software will drop the McAfee from its brand name, severing the name-only tie to its eccentric millionaire founder John McAfee.

The software will be known as Intel Security going forward, Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. Intel has owned the popular anti-virus software since 2010.

While the McAfee brand is well known, cutting all ties to its McAfee founder is probably a good move for the company.

McAfee had a tumultuous year, which he spoke to Maclean’s magazine about back in June. To recap: McAfee’s neighbour in Belize—where he had been living as an ex-pat—was murdered in November 2012 and McAfee went on the lam when police wanted to question him, blogged about going into hiding, and joined up with journalists from Vice magazine. The Vice journalists accidentally outed McAfee’s location by sharing a geo-tagged photo of the software entrepreneur’s hiding place. McAfee was finally arrested in neighbouring Guatemala, and ended up in prison before being extradited to the U.S.

To add to this strange publicity, McAfee publicly berated Intel Security‘s McAfee product in a profanity and nudity laden YouTube video in June. “Something went wrong. Fifteen years ago, I had some beautiful software and they took it over. I don’t know what they did,” he says in the video, before firing a handgun into a computer screen.

When contacted by Reuters, McAfee said he was glad for the move. “I’ve been begging them to drop the brand or fix the product,” he told the newswire service.

It seems like an arrangement both parties will be happy with.