back to article McAfee to offload enterprise business for $4bn, focus on consumer security

McAfee will sell off its enterprise business to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group (STG) for $4bn in cash, the venerable security biz announced on Monday. The deal comes just months after McAfee went public and the news saw its share price jump three per cent. After selling off its enterprise arm McAfee will focus …

  1. Notas Badoff

    Quantity over quality?

    "There's a sucker born every minute". But the size of the pools of suckers might sway one?

    If there's 10000 consumer suckers to every enterprise sucker, maybe it makes sense to give up sales to discerning enterprises and trade on a dead reputation with ignorant consumers?

    BTW: humoring myself watching the antics of the 'free' 1-year installation on a new Dell PC. McAfee has now "optimized the performance" of Vim 7+ times in 2 months. Strange hiccups on keyboard input, file reading, web page loading, etc. I will enjoy disabling it permanently soon.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Quantity over quality?

      MacAfee and Dell are a perfect cowboy match. I've been rewatching the comedy programme Silicon Valley, and only in it's final episode does it even touch upon how bat shit crazy MacAfee is. It blows my mind that people will still buy a product branded with his name.

      1. Lorribot

        Re: Quantity over quality?

        Most people "Buy" this security product when they sign up to an ISP like BT who provide McAffe as the security product for free as part of the deal. Like Norton they also rely on the likes of Currys/PCWorld staff to upsell customers with a free AV that is not needed.

        No one who knows AV buys McAfee. They have all been bitten by an uninstall that killed a computer and AV that was less Anti that desable.

        I would say the Enterprise bit (mostly appliances) is actually better than the end point bit but needs some other bolt ons to start to challage where AV is going and cover off the full East-West, North-South stack that other vendors are building, I don't see anything in their current portfolio that is a good fit.

        This is just a fund raising exercise that allows the consumer arm to keep paying it's execs big bonuses and fat pay checks for a few more years.

        McAfee will wither and die.

  2. demon driver

    Cryptocurrencies and motives

    Hasn't "touting [...] cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives" been what is behind the whole cryptocurrency bubble right from the start?

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Cryptocurrencies and motives

      Of course. But it probably never occurred to McAfee, or anyone else, that doing so might be illegal.

      Tax evasion on the other hand ... Governments have taken the payment of taxes seriously since biblical times. Surely everyone knows that. Perhaps his plan is to throw his accountant(s) to the wolves.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sticking to what they're good at, then?

    No wait…

  4. Terry 6 Silver badge

    It's a pretty crowded market.

    And Microsoft's built in AV software might be seen by many users as being adequate- assuming that they even use a PC these days.

    Which means McAfee will have to rely on the preinstalled bloatware system to market their bloat- essentially relying inertia selling. Which is the bottom-feeding end of commerce.


    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Which means McAfee will have to rely on the preinstalled bloatware system to market their bloat- essentially relying inertia selling. Which is the bottom-feeding end of commerce.

      Perhaps McAfee the software company could employ McAfee the man himself to run the operation? Who knows, a Steve Jobs/Apple like renaissance at McAfee?

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        There's not enough popcorn in the world!

      2. Korev Silver badge

        Well, his customer support continues continues (NSFW) to be excellent

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Is McAfee relevant these days in the corporate world?

      I currently work for a US outsourcing company, 50k+ employees around the world.

      McAfee was part of our standard image at work, has been for a long long time. It was an absolute system hog, especially if you were still on an older device that had a HDD! System scans that would hog the system for 4 to 6 hours at a time, at least twice a week. Sometimes you'd be wanting to shut down at the end of the day, and McAfee was still scanning!

      They decided to do a complete refresh of the stack on PCs about 18 months or so back. This for Windows 10 Enterprise (we were still on 1809 at the time).

      Gone was McAfee, plus other items such as a custom made portal app. Now using mostly the Microsoft stack, 'Company Portal' app, AV etc.

      I haven't noticed any system slow downs since, even when you can see it scanning the drive, it doesn't get in the way, and seems to prioritise the user over the background scans. (Why couldn't McAfee do this?).

      Be curious as to how many other large (or small) corporations will do the same, ditch long standing relationships with McAfee, and just use the built in AV instead? Why pay extra for something, when the built in option seems to be better?

  5. Wade Burchette

    Like a large anchor on a small boat

    I helped a friend with her slow computer. She had McAfee installed. After about 2 minutes after login, the computer would essentially freeze. The mouse moved and the task manager worked,if I opened it before the freeze happened, but it would not update every second. This computer was less than 3 years old. It wasn't a powerful computer, but it was good enough. I was able to test the hard drive before the freeze, and it was good. On a hunch I decided to remove McAfee, which I had to do in safe mode. Like magic, the computer would no longer freeze.

    McAfee slows your computer down like a large anchor on a small boat. I don't care how good detection is if it slows a computer up this slow.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like a large anchor on a small boat

      There was that NSFW video that McAfee the man showed you how to uninstall McAfee the software...

      I thought that he released the video to make the software company to change the name - not sure it worked

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Like a large anchor on a small boat

        It was an excellent video. I particularly liked his take on backing up.

    2. keith_w

      Re: Like a large anchor on a small boat

      That's it's anti-virus side. If the computer can't run, it can't get infected.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like a large anchor on a small boat


      In almost every instance where people have complained to me of a slow computer has been because of third-party AV bogging everything down.

      And most of the time there are several different AV programs installed at the same time.

      Even if you don't see an actual McAfee program in the Control Panel you will most likely find remnants in the Windows registry somewhere.

      Probably included as a bundle from a downloaded program or browser extension or part of OEM bloat like HP in a hidden folder.

      Even John McAfee himself made a joke PSA video of how to (try and) remove his warez.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Like a large anchor on a small boat

      Company I work for made the (unfortunate) decision to swap to McAfee for all our VM's a year or so ago. Ended up having to bump the CPU number on every server by at least 1 to cope, with several 100 VM's this was slightly annoying. The expression "was that a McAfee problem?" is not part of the IT jargon for us.

      Also their Endpoint management portal is ridiculously slow.

  6. Diogenes8080

    Who gets the kids?

    There appears to be a lack of detail (in the original press release, so we cannot blame El Reg) as to how the split will work. Presumably whatever laboratory capability McAfee have will go with the consumer business, and STG have no security capacity themselves with the singular exception of RSA. The nearest product they offer is a SIEM and that won't stand in for an endpoint solution.

    "Until closing, McAfee will continue to conduct and operate the Enterprise business, while McAfee, STG, and the Enterprise business’ leadership team will partner to plan for a successful transition for the business, its employees, and its customers." That suggests to me that there is no plan as yet. A lot of McAfee enterprise customers must be worried.

    1. seven of five

      Re: Who gets the kids?

      > A lot of McAfee enterprise customers must be worried.

      If they'd worry, they would not have choosen McAfee in first place.

  7. Claverhouse Silver badge

    McAfee is accused of using his Twitter account to “publish messages to hundreds of thousands of his Twitter followers touting various cryptocurrencies through false and misleading statements to conceal their true, self-interested motives.”

    He had the highest precedent.

    1. iron Silver badge

      I believe it's spelled President. ;)

  8. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    At some point...

    When searching Youtube for John McAffee in safe mode yields that video in the top ten, anyone taking him seriously for anything is just beyond help.

    Frankly, I would be terrified of prosecuting the man. His insanity defense is air tight.

  9. Blackjack Silver badge

    A private equity firm is...

    Where companies go for assisted suicide. If you use any of their business services consider switching companies.

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