In 2012, the company told CNNMoney that it had no intention of changing the McAfee name because "customers understand the separation that takes place." But the turnaround was expected since last month, when McAfee Chief Marketing Officer Penny Baldwin told Adweek the company would "see massive change" in "packaging and names."
John McAfee started the antivirus firm in 1987 as McAfee Associates and left in 1994 with about $100 million in his pocket. He stayed in the headlines for years for his bored millionaire antics: flying in tiny open-cockpit kite-planes, escaping a wrongful death lawsuit by fleeing to Belize and even starting a bacteria-research lab in the jungles of Central America.
Then came a bizarre (and verbally graphic) video on YouTube in which McAfee -- now in Portland, Ore. -- trashes the McAfee antivirus software while surrounded by drugs, guns and scantily clad women.
In her Adweek interview, Baldwin said the company had kept a close eye on the millionaire's erratic behavior and its effect on consumer perception of the brand.
But McAfee too has kept an eye on the brand name -- and he's come to hate his association to the software because of how much it's changed. On Tuesday, he told CNNMoney he's tired of receiving complaints about the McAfee security program for being "a complete CPU hog that ignores what the user wants to do."
McAfee said he and Intel can finally both be happy.
"I really am elated beyond description," he said. "Everyone thinks I've written the worst software in the world. But I've had nothing to do with that company for 20 years."