John McAfee: I'm glad Intel is dropping my name

Tuesday, 7 Jan 2014 | 2:05 PM ET
John McAfee
Paula Bustamante | AFP | Getty Images
John McAfee

John McAfee, the flamboyant millionaire who founded the eponymous anti-virus software pioneer that Intel Corp bought for $7.7 billion, says he is glad that the chipmaker plans to drop his name from the product.

Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich announced the decision to abandon the McAfee name late on Monday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, saying the company plans to transition those products to the "Intel Security" brand.

(Read more: John McAfee is not dead)

"I've been begging them to drop the brand or fix the product," McAfee said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. He did not speculate on a reason for the move, which was not completely unexpected.

Last June, McAfee appeared in a profanity-laced video attacking the quality of the software produced by the company he founded in the late 1980s. He said he frequently gets emails from customers who complain that it degrades the performance of their computers and is difficult to remove.

"While we take any attack on our products seriously, these ludicrous statements have no basis in reality," company spokesman Ian Bain said at the time.

(Read more: GOP sough McAfee advice)

John McAfee speaks out on new technology
The infamous founder of McAfee Software is back in Silicon Valley and back in the spotlight, reports CNBC's Jane Wells.

A company spokesman said on Tuesday he could not immediately comment on the branding move.

But executives with the security company have privately said they worry that the eccentric McAfee could harm the reputation of the firm, best known for the anti-virus software it sells to consumers and businesses.

Questions about Intel's plans for keeping the McAfee brand arose in late 2012, when John McAfee generated a media frenzy as he went into hiding, then fled the Central American nation of Belize after police sought to question him about a murder case. He said he was framed for a murder he did not commit.

(Read more: McAfee: Tech drugs and breaking bad)

Then in his video attacking the software, the millionaire fires a gun into a computer. He was undressed and pawed by a group of young women.

McAfee said he did it all to mock the media's unfair portrayal of him as unhinged.

"I am who I am. I'm sorry I live on the edge and enjoy life and don't care what people think of me," he said on Tuesday, when asked how he felt about Intel dumping his name. "I'm sorry that the software has my name."

—By Reuters.

  Price   Change %Change

Contact Software


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.