McAfee Associates, the software program firm that he based, was as soon as a family identify in laptop safety. He began it in his small home in Santa Clara, Calif., in response to a Pakistani laptop virus referred to as Mind, considered the primary to assault private computer systems. His plan was to create an antivirus program and provides it away on laptop bulletin boards, with the hope that customers would set up it on their computer systems at work. They did, and the businesses paid licensing charges, giving Mr. McAfee revenues of about $5 million a yr by 1990.
McAfee Associates went public in 1992, making its founder’s inventory price $80 million, however he resigned in 1994. The corporate’s rise to prominence continued with out him. Intel, the pc chip maker, purchased the corporate in 2010 for $7.7 billion, then bought its majority stake to an funding agency six years later.
By that point, Mr. McAfee had misplaced a fortune within the monetary disaster of 2008 and had moved to Central America, looking for an easier and cheaper life, he advised reporters.
Earlier than and after McAfee Associates was purchased by Intel, the corporate tried to distance itself from Mr. McAfee. Earlier than it bought the corporate, Intel tried to rebrand it as Intel Safety. However it by no means shook its attachment to its founder and the model he helped create, and the identify McAfee was restored when it was bought.
In 2016, when Mr. McAfee tried to make use of the identify with a brand new safety firm, Intel filed a lawsuit looking for to forestall him from doing so. Intel and Mr. McAfee settled the lawsuit, with Mr. McAfee agreeing to not use his identify within the discipline of cybersecurity.
Cade Metz and Raphael Minder contributed reporting.