McAfee shakes up management, names interim CEO

CEO George Samenuk resigns; President Kevin Weiss is fired; Dale Fuller is named interim chief and president.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read
McAfee announced on Wednesday that Dale Fuller is serving as its interim chief executive and president following a management shake-up.

As part of an investigation into the company's stock options practices, George Samenuk, CEO and chairman, has resigned, and Kevin Weiss, president, was ousted.

Based on a preliminary review of the probe's results, McAfee said it expects to restate earnings in the range of $100 million to $150 million over a 10-year period.

The company has appointed a search committee to find a permanent CEO. Fuller, a McAfee director since January, previously served as CEO of Borland Software for more than six years.

Charles Robel, a McAfee director since June, will serve as the security software maker's nonexecutive chairman.

The anticipated pretax, noncash charges are related to McAfee's investigation into its stock option grant practices. The internal investigation, which is now largely completed, has indicated that the company needs to restate historical earnings results dating back more than 10 years. McAfee plans to restate its financial results and its annual report as soon as possible.

In June, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission began a formal probe into its stock option practices. McAfee is one of a number of companies caught up in stock options investigations. These investigations involve pricing options around the lowest trading range for the stock during the month they were approved rather than the date they were awarded, a practice known as backdating.

Apple Computer, for example, recently announced that its former chief financial officer, Fred Anderson, would resign from its board of directors as the company conducts its investigation into stock option grants.

Samenuk is resigning from McAfee after serving six years as its chief executive and chairman.

"I regret that some of the stock option problems identified by the special committee occurred on my watch. I am proud of the accomplishments of the McAfee team in serving our millions of customers during my tenure," Samenuk said in a statement.

Fuller, during a conference call with analysts, said his role as interim CEO will be to ensure that the security company stays focused on the necessary steps to ensure its success. The former Borland CEO, when asked by analysts, said it was too early to state whether he would be willing to serve as McAfee's permanent CEO.

"It's too early for me to say I am one of the candidates. It's obvious that by sitting in this (interim role), I am a likely candidate, but I still need to check with my wife first," Fuller said.

McAfee, which is facing greater competition as Microsoft enters the arena of security software, has undergone a string of management changes this year.

In January, Gene Hodges, McAfee president, resigned to join rival Websense as its CEO. McAfee also saw the departure of Vincent Gullotto, the head of the McAfee Antivirus and Vulnerability Emergency Response Team (AVERT), who joined Microsoft.

With Weiss' termination, the company loses an executive whom it appointed in March to fill Hodges' role as president.