John McAfee is changing jobs: Why the cyber pioneer is glad to be 'back where he belongs'

Jason Murdock
John McAfee

Cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee is changing jobs. Well, job titles at least. The former chief executive officer (CEO) of MGT Capital Investments, best known for creating the popular anti-virus software that still bears his name, will now shift to focus on product design.

That's according to a statement posted on the company website on Wednesday (16 August) detailing a corporate restructure purportedly designed to "better compete and align resources".

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The US-headquartered firm specialises in hardware and software linked to cybersecurity and cryptocurrency.

"My main relief is no longer having to deal with audits, Board issues, the SEC, legal issues, voluminous reporting, formalities," McAfee told IBTimes UK.

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"I can focus on what I do best, design products."

The new role will be titled chief cybersecurity visionary and he will be tasked with overseeing the "design and engineering of current and future cybersecurity platforms," according to MGT.

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The firm also noted that McAfee will maintain his position as a "thought leader and spokesman".

MGT has now appointed Stephen Schaeffer to a senior role, as president of MGT Crypto-Capital Strategies. The board said it appointed Robert Ladd to the role of CEO alongside H. Robert Holmes, who will take up the position of chairman.

"I am back where I belong," McAfee said.

"Out of the weeds and focusing on the biggest issues facing the industry and the world.

"The true test of any leader is his ability to put the best people in the right jobs, and as a very large stakeholder in MGT, I am very confident in Steve's abilities to make us all money."

Schaeffer added: "It is abundantly clear from our results that, efficiently executed, bitcoin mining is very profitable. Having established MGT as a pre-eminent miner in North America, I look forward to leading our team as we execute our expansion to the next level."

The statement said that Ladd will now oversee the rollout of its enterprise-focused anti-hacking product, known as Sentinel, and its so-called Privacy Phone. In early July, McAfee settled a year-long legal dispute with Intel over the use of his name for commercial ventures.

The Privacy Phone has a tentative release date of February 2018 and McAfee previously claimed that it could prove to be the most "hack-proof" mobile handset on the market.

The firm's Sentinel product remains in beta, and is being touted for release in September 2017.

In a recent column for IBTimes UK, McAfee wrote about why the word 'bubble' cannot be applied to bitcoin, one of the most popular forms of digital currencies today.

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