Gene Hodges, who worked at McAfee since 1995, resigns to take posts of CEO, president at rival security company.
Hodges, whose resignation is effective immediately, marks the latest case of a high-level executive jumping to a competitor. Websense provides Web-filtering security software, while McAfee, predominately known as an antivirus company, has been rapidly expanding its footprint into new areas of the security market.
"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 chief executive, said in a statement.
Hodges' executive team will report directly to Samenuk, the company said. Hodges, who joined McAfee in 1995, was promoted to president more than four years ago.
Hodges will succeed John Carrington at Websense, who has served as chief executive for more than six years. Carrington will remain executive chairman of the board at the San Diego-based company.
Hodges, who was also named Websense's president, is expected to be appointed to the Websense board of directors later this month.
"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 expanded into the wireless market. In June, the company bolstered its presence in the Wi-Fi market, with an acquisition of Wireless Security.
During his tenure with McAfee, Hodges was responsible for corporate strategy, technology development, and sales and marketing.