Each time you carry out some security-related task on your PC using your McAfee software, or whenever you look online for information on how to set up the thing, it might just be that an image of crazy-boy John, bare-chested and holding a rifle, pops into your head. Or instead maybe stories of Mr. McAfee’s various Belize-based exploits fill your mind and distract you from the task in hand.
With John McAfee’s unpredictable antics continuing to hit the headlines – antics which include the recent release of a video explaining how to uninstall McAfee Antivirus that featured strippers, coke, and guns – Intel boss Brian Krzanich has evidently had enough of the association between the outlandish character and the software he created, telling a crowd at CES on Monday that his company will soon begin a year-long rebranding exercise that’ll see McAfee’s name phased out and replaced by “Intel Security”.
The software will reportedly stay as it is, and the iconic red McAfee shield will also remain – for the time being, at least.
Soon after Krzanich announced the rebranding news, McAfee, in typical fashion, told the BBC he was delighted with the decision.
“I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users,” he said, adding, “My elation at Intel’s decision is beyond words.”
A former NASA and Lockheed Martin employee, McAfee founded his antivirus software company 27 years ago and made millions as PC ownership grew rapidly and users looked for ways to protect their machines.
After leaving the company in 1994 at the age of 47, the software tycoon embarked on various business ventures and took up extreme sports activities. In the meantime, the company he created was acquired by Intel for $7.7 billion.
Following the death of his nephew in a kite-plane accident that also took the life of a second man, the Brit-born oddball moved to Belize where, in late 2012, he became “a person of interest” to local cops following the mysterious death of his neighbor on the island.
In an escape as bizarre as the man himself, McAfee made his way back to the US disguised variously as an inebriated German tourist in a Speedo and “distasteful, oversized Hawaiian shirt”, and a stooped Guatemalan peddler “in ragged brown pants,” according to the NY Times.
He’s currently working on a $100 device which he claims will protect computer users from the prying eyes of intelligence agencies like the NSA, with plans for a release this year.