RealTime IT News

McAfee Loses Chief to Competitor

Antivirus software provider McAfee announced the resignation of President Gene Hodges today, who is stepping down to take the chief executive post at rival security firm Websense.

Hodges will succeed Websense CEO John Carrington, who has served as CEO since 1999. Carrington will remain executive chairman of the board, according to Websense.

"Gene's 11 years of experience in one of the world's leading security companies will be invaluable as Websense continues to expand its product offering from a 'nice-to-have' Web filtering solution to a 'must-have' layer of Web security," Carrington said in a statement.

Hodges joins the Websense team after holding the position of president at McAfee where he was responsible for technology development, strategy and execution, as well as all sales and marketing for McAfee's many business units worldwide.

"Gene has been a valuable member of our team and McAfee would like to thank him for his leadership, as well as many contributions he has made to our business during his tenure," George Samenuk, McAfee CEO, said in a statement.

Despite the nice sentiment, the defection likely comes as a blow to McAfee. Although Websense is primarily a Web-filtering security software firm, as opposed to McAfee's concentration on antivirus software, Websense has been expanding into that area of the security market.

"Although I was not seeking a change, the position as CEO of Websense was simply too compelling to pass up," Hodges said in a statement. "With the launch of Websense Enterprise 6 and new initiatives in the mobile worker and wireless markets, Websense is well positioned to continue its history of strong growth."

McAfee has also recently expanded into the wireless market. In June, the company bolstered its presence in the Wi-Fi market, with an acquisition of Wireless Security.

As an inducement for Hodges to join Websense, he was granted non-plan options to purchase 600,000 shares of Websense common stock.