McAfee is officially back. Intel Security has officially reassumed its heritage brand, with the announcement Tuesday that it has split from parent company Intel and is now a standalone security vendor.
The split, first announced in September, involves the sale of a 51 percent stake of the McAfee to TPG Capital. The deal is worth $4.2 billion, including $3.1 billion in cash to Intel and a $1.1 billion equity investment by TPG.
McAfee now emerges as a $2 billion standalone security vendor for the first time since its $7.7 billion sale to Intel in 2010. The company is led by CEO Chris Young, who had previously served as senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security. In an interview with CRN, Young said the transaction to make McAfee independent is a significant milestone in the company's journey to be its customers' "No. 1 security vendor."
"This is an important milestone on a journey," Young said. "It starts when we build the confidence of our customers, we deliver on our solutions, we work closely with our channel partners, and we do all of that in the context of being independent McAfee again – no longer Intel Security. It is really a milestone on the journey that we've been on and an important one."
Partners can expect a new wave of innovation from McAfee, Young said, building on the new technologies the company has rolled out recently around endpoint, data center, data protection, and cloud security. This innovation wave includes expanding its Data Exchange Layer (DXL) to new technology partners while providing OpenDXL, its open source threat intelligence network. Young said partners can expect to see both organic investments and acquisitions to grow its technology portfolio.
"We're already on a path with our product portfolio. The splitting just enables us to focus all of the energy of our company in one direction," Young said. "Every person in the organization is going to be laser focused on the security mission … We will be an 8,000-person company focused on the very common cybersecurity mission, which will translate into a different cadence for us as a company."
Young highlighted particular opportunities for innovation around security analytics, the intelligent security operations center, endpoint security, and the company's cybersecurity framework with Open DXL. The ultimate goal, he said, is to establish McAfee as the "platform player in cybersecurity," which includes a robust portfolio of its own, as well as third-party integrations.
"When we separate from Intel, we will be a 100-percent focused cybersecurity company that is a real platform player … That will be one of the most important value propositions that McAfee is going to bring to the table for our customers. We can truly partner with our customers on a global scale to really help them manage their cybersecurity problem broadly," Young said. "Getting that whole architecture right, that whole platform, is going to be really important. That is going to be one of the core elements of our mission as we separate and become a standalone organization."
Partners cheered the news of McAfee becoming independent, saying it would help McAfee drive a more focused vision around cybersecurity.
"I think the whole thing is a great move for them. I think it really frees them up [to make investments in security," Andy Welsh, vice president of product management at Denver, Colo.-based Optiv Security, said. "I see it as nothing but positive, both for them and for us."
Welsh said he believes the McAfee brand remains strong in the security space, and that the split from Intel will allow the company to "get noticed again." He said he looks forward to the innovations McAfee will bring to its platform, especially around EPO and the endpoint.
Jeremy Samide, CEO of North Olmsted, Ohio-based Stealthcare, also cheered the split, saying he is looking forward to what McAfee will bring to market around next-generation endpoint security, artificial intelligence, machine learning, threat intelligence and DLP.
"We're hoping that the split is going to change the market for McAfee … I expect our business to grow with them," Samide said, though added he expects a slight lull as the company navigates the operational split. "We're excited just to see the direction McAfee goes in and to be able to leverage that relationship and leverage those relationships with our clients."