McAfee also reportedly is closing its Israel software development center.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 13, 2021

2 Min Read
McAfee Employees Getting Pink-Slipped in Likely 'Belt-Tightening'

More than 130 McAfee employees will lose their jobs in March as the cyberseurity company cuts its corporate headquarters workforce.

According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice with the California Employment Development Department, 137 McAfee employees are getting the axe. Some work in McAfee’s headquarters in San Jose, California, and others work remotely and reside outside of California.

None of the employees is represented by a union. McAfee isn’t commenting on the layoffs.

Closing Israel Development Center

In addition, the Times of Israel reports McAfee is shutting down its software development center there. McAfee also is laying off most of those workers.

Eric Parizo is principal analyst of Omdia’s cybersecurity operations intelligence service. He’s hearing McAfee is laying off workers in other locations. That includes its sizable location in Plano, Texas.

The layoffs are likely a result of ongoing belt-tightening, he said.

In addition, McAfee could be initiating the layoffs because of end-of-life products reaching the end of their extended support windows, Parizo said.

The office in Israel dates back almost a decade to McAfee’s acquisition of a trio of companies, he said. That includes Insightix, whose technology became a key component of its ePolicy Orchestrator endpoint security management product.


Omdia’s Eric Parizo

“But McAfee has evolved well beyond the contributions of those companies,” Parizo said.

And it makes sense financially to shift its forward-leaning development efforts to India, he said. That’s where the company already has a large development team.

Possible Product Development Change

McAfee‘s highly regarded chief product officer, Ash Kulkarni, just weeks ago resigned to take the same role at Elastic, a SIEM specialist and McAfee competitor, Parizo said.

“That may be a sign that McAfee is taking a new approach toward its product development,” he said. “That would be a major concern. McAfee’s commitment to customer success by way of frequent customizations to its commercial products has been a hallmark of its success for years, and a key reason why it has had a base of loyal customers. But it is an expensive approach. CEO Peter Leav, a profitability specialist who is intently focused on McAfee’s bottom line, may have decided that there’s room for greater efficiency in McAfee’s engineering efforts.”

Ultimately it all boils down to the desire of McAfee’s key stakeholders – TPG, Thoma Bravo and Intel – to make the company as profitable as possible now that it has made its return to the public markets, Parizo said.

“Their patience for McAfee’s ongoing reinvention ran out some time ago,” he said. “And it’s clear their focus is now purely on profitability. Until those investors divest most of their stakes in McAfee, I expect McAfee’s strategic and operational turbulence to continue.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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