McAfee appoints Peter Leav as CEO, replacing Chris Young

McAfee has appointed Peter Leav, the former CEO of BMC Software, as its new CEO.
McAfee security solutionsPeter Leav will start as McAfee CEO on Feb. 3.

McAfee has replaced Chris Young, who created the cyber security company in its current form by carving it out of Intel four years ago.

The move gives McAfee the option of pursuing an initial public offering (IPO) with a new leader. McAfee has considered deals in the sector, including potentially merging with rival NortonLifeLock.

Chris Young will become a senior advisor at buyout firm TPG, which acquired a majority stake in McAfee from Intel in 2016 in a deal which valued the company at $4.2 billion, including debt. Chris Young will work with TPG on new technology investments.

During Chris Young’s tenure, the company saw mid-single digit revenue growth, Reuters reported.

Peter Leav previously served as president and CEO of BMC, a business software firm, for three years. He left in 2019, a few months after the completion of private equity firm KKR & Co’s $8.5-billion buyout of the company.

The global cyber security industry was valued at $116.5 billion in 2018, and is forecast to grow around 11 percent per year through to 2025, as the number of cyber security threats continues to rise, according to research firm Grand View Research.

McAfee has managed to grow its main cyber security software business, which focuses on consumers, through price increases, new partner programs and good retention rates, according credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. This growth has been partially offset, however, by weakness in its business of serving other companies, which remains competitive, according to Moody’s.

In November, NortonLifeLock, previously called Symantec, sold its enterprise business serving other companies to chip maker Broadcom for $10.7 billion.

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