Instrumental McAfee Chief Steps Down

Stephen Richards said he will resign as the company's chief financial officer at year's end.

Stephen Richards, who is responsible for pulling McAfee Inc. out of a whirlwind of financial and legal troubles, said last week he will resign as the companys chief financial officer at years end.

Richards also has been the companys chief operating officer during his tenure and has played a large role in helping to reshape McAfees strategic direction and product portfolio. When Richards joined the company from E-Trade Securities Inc. in 2001, the company then known as Network Associates was in the early stages of a corporate makeover sparked by the resignation of former CEO William Larson and much of his senior staff amid allegations of securities fraud and accounting irregularities.


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The company was beset by shareholder lawsuits and investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. McAfee last year settled some of the lawsuits for $70 million. The lawsuits were brought by investors who accused McAfee of overloading its resellers with inventory in an effort to book more revenue. Under McAfees accounting practices at the time, the company recognized revenue when it shipped products to resellers, instead of when resellers sold the products. The company has since changed that practice.

McAfee CEO George Samenuk, who joined the company shortly before Richards, said Richards "has been instrumental in restoring McAfees financial health and the companys credibility with shareholders and the investment community."

Along with Samenuk and McAfee President Gene Hodges, Richards helped oversee high-profile acquisitions that have changed the companys structure and overhauled its offerings. Following the acquisitions last year of IntruVert Networks and Entercept Security Technologies Inc., McAfee sold off its Sniffer Technologies and Magic help desk units and focused on intrusion prevention. More recently, McAfee purchased Foundstone Inc., a vulnerability management company that was pursued by several suitors in the last year or so.

Richards said he is leaving the Santa Clara, Calif., company to spend more time with his family.


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