McAfee replaces CEO ahead of possible IPO

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Cybersecurity firm McAfee names former BMC Software CEO Peter Leav as its new CEO. (Pixabay)

Chris Young is leaving his role as CEO of cybersecurity firm McAfee to become a senior advisor with TPG Capital, which has a majority stake in McAfee.

McAfee announced Thursday that former BMC Software CEO Peter Leav was hired to replace Young as CEO. Leav, who will take the CEO reins on Feb. 3, will also be appointed to McAfee's board of directors.

The move to replace Young with Leav could be a precursor to McAfee becoming public or sold. Another possible option for McAfee could include a merger with NortonLifeLock. In November, NortonLifeLock, which was previously called Symantec, sold its enterprise security business to Broadcom for $10.7 billion. Earlier this month, Broadcom announced it was selling the enterprise security business to Accenture for an undisclosed sum.

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Young will still have a hand in McAfee through an advisory role during the transition and as a TPG senior advisor. TPG bought a majority stake in McAfee from Intel in 2016 in deal valued at $4.2 billion, which included debt.

Leav was CEO and president of business software firm BMC for three years, which was bought last year by private equity firm KKR & Co. for $8.5 billion.

Prior to joining BMC, Leav served as: president, CEO and director of Polycom; executive vice president and president, industry and field operations, of NCR; and corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola.

Earlier in his career, Leav held executive sales positions at Symbol Technologies, and Cisco. He currently serves on the boards of Box and Proofpoint.

"Peter has exactly the right mix of experience and expertise to lead McAfee in its next phase of growth,” said TPG co-CEO and McAfee Chairman Jon Winkelried, in a statement. “Building on the significant progress McAfee has made over the last three years, Leav’s experience successfully scaling enterprise technology businesses, along with his strong innovation track record, will help push McAfee further in its mission to create a safer, more secure cybersphere.”

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