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McAfee Layoffs 2021: Staff Cuts at Cybersecurity Software Company

McAfee layoffs will impact 137 employees at the cybersecurity software company's headquarters starting in March, Silicon Valley Business Journal reports. Moreover, McAfee will shut down its security software development center in Tel Aviv, Israel, to further reduce headcount and business costs, The Times of Israel reports.

McAfee had roughly 6,850 employees as of June 2020, according to a Craft estimate.

McAfee returned to public markets with an IPO ($MCFE) in October 2020. A few weeks later, the company announced Q3 2020 financial results featuring:

  • Revenue of $728 million, up 10 percent compared to Q3 of 2019.
  • Net income was breakeven, compared to a $9 million net loss in Q3 of 2019.

McAfee is expected to announce Q4 2020 earnings around February 18, 2021, according to MarketBeat.

Related List: All Technology Industry Company Layoffs (2016 to present)

McAfee Business Evolution: XDR, Cloud Security and More

McAfee has evolved its cybersecurity software business through organic R&D and acquisitions in recent years. The company in November 2020 unveiled MVISION XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) to help partners and customers improve SOC (Security Operations Center) threat response capabilities and lower costs.

Around the same time, McAfee announced the MVISION Cloud Native Application Protection Platform (CNAPP). The platform "delivers consistent data protection, threat prevention, governance and compliance throughout the cloud-native application lifecycle, including container and OS-based workloads, McAfee says."

Also, McAfee has aligned with Amazon Business to help SMB partners address security and IT resource challenges.

McAfee and MSSPs: Competing?

On service provider front, McAfee both competes and cooperates with MSPs and MSSPs (managed security services providers). In a 2020 SEC filing that briefly mentioned MSSPs, McAfee stated:

“Some of our enterprise customers have outsourced some or all of the management of their information technology departments to large system integrators. Some customers have also outsourced portions of their cybersecurity operations to MSSPs. If this trend continues, our established customer relationships could be disrupted, and our solutions could be displaced by alternatives offered by system integrators and MSSPs that do not include or use our solutions. These displacements could negatively impact our financial results and have an adverse effect on our business.”

In stark contrast, numerous cybersecurity software and appliance companies have successfully built MSP- and MSSP-centric partner programs that either minimize or completely eliminate channel conflicts with service providers. For instance, 18 percent of MSSPs name Fortinet as the top technology company assisting service providers with cybersecurity business strategies, according to a 2020 MSSP Alert survey.

McAfee Alternatives: CrowdStrike, SentinelOne Grow Rapidly

McAfee has also faced intense competition from fast-growing endpoint detection and response (EDR) software companies -- such as CrowdStrike and SentinelOne, among many others.

CrowdStrike's revenue was $232.5 million in Q3 of fiscal 2021, up 86 percent from Q3 of fiscal 2020, the company disclosed on December 2, 2020. Meanwhile, SentinelOne raised $267 million at a $3 billon valuation in November 2020, and will potentially launch an IPO in 2021, MSSP Alert reported.

Also of note: Major technology companies such as Cisco Systems, Microsoft and VMware  have pushed deeper into the cybersecurity market.

Meanwhile, McAfee has not commented about the layoff reports.

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.