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McAfee CEO: BMC Veteran Peter Leav Succeeds Chris Young

New McAfee CEO Peter Leav
New McAfee CEO Peter Leav

McAfee has hired former BMC Software leader Peter Leav as CEO to succeed Chris Young, the cybersecurity software company disclosed today. The transition is effective February 3, 2020.

McAfee may pursue an IPO under Leav's leadership, but the cybersecurity company has also considered merging with NortonLifeLock, Reuters noted. McAfee's private equity investor, TPG Capital, has yet to make a decision on the timing or manner of its exit from McAfee, Reuters asserts.

Before leading BMC, Leav held executive and senior posts at Polycom, NCR Corporation, Motorola, Symbol Technologies and Cisco Systems, Inc. He currently serves on the boards of Box and Proofpoint.

McAfee Name Leave CEO: Executive Perspectives

In a prepared statement, Leav said:

“I am delighted to be joining McAfee at this exciting time for the company and am looking forward to working with the team to pursue the significant growth opportunities ahead. McAfee is one of the largest, most important cybersecurity brands in the world, with a commitment to innovation and excellence. By maintaining the forward-thinking, customer-centric approach that has come to define McAfee, I am confident that we will continue to play a very meaningful role in protecting individuals, businesses and communities from the rapidly changing cyber threat landscape.”

Added Jon Winkelried, co-CEO of TPG and chairman of McAfee:

“Peter has exactly the right mix of experience and expertise to lead McAfee in its next phase of growth. Building on the significant progress McAfee has made over the last three years, Leav’s experience successfully scaling enterprise technology businesses, along with his strong innovation track record, will help push McAfee further in its mission to create a safer, more secure cybersphere.”

Concluded Chris Young:

“It has been a privilege to work with the McAfee team, and I am very proud of the results we have delivered for our customers, partners, employees and investors. I look forward to continued involvement with McAfee in an advisory capacity through TPG Capital, and I am confident in the company’s future.”

McAfee's Security Business Evolution

McAfee, under former owner Intel, faced business pressure on multiple fronts. Indeed, McAfe was generally late to the SaaS market and MSP partner ecosystems. Ironically, McAfee had a good cloud start with the 2009 MX Logic acquisition, but ultimately fumbled those assets and early MSP partnerships associated MX Logic.

More recently, McAfee and rival Symantec have faced pressure from next-generation endpoint protection providers, including such names as BlackBerry Cylance, CrowdStrike, VMware Carbon Black and many others.

Still, McAfee has shown signs of progress. The company's business has shown single-digit percentage growth in recent years, though recent software rewrites and acquisitions position the company more effectively for modern cloud and mobile use cases, and endpoint detection and response (EDR) use cases.

McAfee has "significantly increased its enterprise value and consistently grown its revenue in the mid-single digits and profit in the double digits," the company said in a statement today.

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.