By Jim Finkle
BOSTON Jan 7 John McAfee, the flamboyant
millionaire who founded a pioneering anti-virus software company
that Intel Corp bought for $7.7 billion, says he is
glad that the chipmaker plans to drop his name from its
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 adopt
the "Intel Security" brand.
"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
Last June, McAfee appeared in a profanity-laced video
attacking the quality of the software produced by the company,
which 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.
Intel has repeatedly said the attacks on the quality of its
software are "ludicrous" and without merit.
Its chief technology officer, Michael Fey, said on Tuesday
that the company was not concerned about the video, partly
because customers knew that John McAfee had not worked for the
company in some 20 years.
"Everybody realized the man was trying to get a laugh or
make a joke. It is far from something that most buyers took
seriously," he said. "We didn't really feel much pressure."
Still, he said, it would be a relief to be able to ignore
John McAfee's antics once Intel stopped using his name.
"As an employee I am happy to stop having to answer that,"
Questions about Intel's plans for keeping the McAfee brand
first surfaced in late 2012, when John McAfee, to much
publicity, left the Central American nation of Belize after
police sought to question him about the murder of a neighbor. He
said he was framed for a murder he did not commit.
John McAfee fled to the United States in December 2012 and
is developing technology dubbed D-Central that he says will help
keep Internet communications safe from government snooping.
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."