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McAfee Layoffs 2017: Cybersecurity Staff Cuts Confirmed

The rumors were true. McAfee layoffs within the past two weeks involved an undisclosed number of employees. Chatter about the cuts swirled at this week's CompTIA ChannelCon conference (see item 1) in Austin, Texas, where several security vendors said they were contacted by former McAfee employees seeking jobs.

According to a CRN report, a McAfee spokesperson confirmed that the security vendor had made cuts, but declined to provide the exact percentage. The spokesperson said cuts were less than 10 percent and occurred around two weeks ago, CRN said.

McAfee became a standalone company again in April 2017. Investors in the business include TPG Capital, former majority owner Intel (now down to a 49 percent equity stake) and Thoma Bravo.

McAfee: Signs of Progress

McAfee has overhauled and expanded its product lines in recent months -- most recently expanding its machine learning and automation capabilities. The company also has rebranded its customer and partner summit as MPower Cybersecurity Summit, which is set for October.

Overall, ChannelE2E has heard positive buzz about McAfee's renewed commitment to channel partners since the spin-off plan was hatched in 2016. But the July 2017 layoffs show just how challenging it is for a company to spin-off and become independent amid so many cybersecurity market shifts (cloud, mobile, artificial intelligence, etc.) and intensifying competition. Among the competitive indicators: Earlier this week, both Symantec and FireEye announced stronger-than-expected quarterly results.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.