McAfee Sheds Its CEO and Its President; Possible Precursor to Bigger Changes Ahead

Numerous reports were published today regarding major executive changes at McAfee Inc.

The company’s chairman and CEO George Samenuk and its president Kevin Weiss are departing after the security-software vendor found accounting discrepancies in its stock-options grants. As a result of those discrepancies, McAfee said it will need to restate past financial statements by around $100 million to $150 million to account for additional charges for stock-based compensation expenses over a 10-year period.

Officially, Weiss was fired while Samenuk will retire.

Dale Fuller, who joined McAfee’s board of directors in January, will take over as interim CEO and president. Fuller previously served as president and CEO of Borland Software Corp. He also served as a senior executive in Apple Computer’s Powerbook division and in NEC’s portable computer division.

Also appointed as non-executive chairman of the board was Charles Robel, who joined McAfee’s board in June and was formerly chief operating officer at venture capital company Hummer Winblad Venture Partners.

The shakeup today could be perceived not only as housecleaning related to stock-option backdating irregularities at McAfee, but also as a potential precursor to McAfee being taken private. There were rumors all summer that McAfee, or at least some of McAfee’s board members, had been considering a leveraged buyout proposal.

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