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McAfee appoints Greg Johnson as new CEO

Peter Leav to step down in June as anti-virus giant continues to focus on its consumer business

McAfee has announced that CEO Peter Leav will step down next month and be replaced by Greg Johnson.

The reason for Leav's departure hasn't been specifically explained by the anti-virus company, but his last day in the role will be 13 June.

The appointment of Johnson, however, appears to fit with McAfee's new business direction. Since last year, the anti-virus software giant has looked to streamline itself as a more "pure-play" consumer protection business, which has a greater focus on fewer offerings. This began with the divestment of its portfolio last year, which was swiftly followed by its privatisation, led by the Advent International consortium.

Johnson is a 25 year industry veteran, with considerable experience working for consumer-facing businesses. He previously served as the executive vice president and GM of Intuit, where he helped to build a multi-billion-dollar consumer technology franchise. This included expanding Intuit's consumer group from a singular service into a suite of financial products for consumers.

Experience with consumer growth appears to be the key element of Johnson's CV that has appealed to McAfee's board of directors. He has an extensive track record for increasing customer bases at a number of high profile companies, including Kraft, Kodak, Gillette, and Advanced Auto. What's more, Johnson is also a member of Qualcomm's board of directors.

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"Greg holds an impressive track record of cultivating multi-billion-dollar growth strategies for consumer businesses while delivering increasing value to customers," said Bruce Chizen, chairman of McAfee's board of directors. "As we continue to build on McAfee's 30-year history as a global leader in online protection, Greg's proven expertise makes him the leader of choice to spearhead future growth for the company."

McAfee sold its enterprise business to a consortium led by Symphony Technology Group for $4 billion last year. The company has also made five acquisitions since it was spun off from Intel in 2017, with most of those integrated into its enterprise unit. The cash from its deal with Symphony was largely used to pay off part of its debts, but it is also thought that some of that capital will be used for acquisitions to boost its consumer operations.

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