McAfee President Steps Down

On Tuesday, antivirus software vendor McAfee announced that president Gene Hodges has resigned, effective immediately, to become president and CEO of Websense, a maker of Web filtering and desktop security software.

No replacement has been appointed, but McAfee officials say Hodges' team will now work with chairman and CEO George Samenuk. At Websense, Hodges succeeds John Carrington, who will stay on as executive chairman.

The executive change comes on the heels of the announcement last week that McAfee had agreed to pay $50 million to settle accounting fraud charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company did not admit any wrongdoing, but was accused of overstating its numbers during the period between 1998 and 2000. In that time, according to the SEC, McAfee overstated its net revenue by $622 million, including a $562 million misrepresentation of its sales in 1998. McAfee's most recent quarterly revenue was $253 million for the quarter ended last fall.

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The SEC is charging that the company used numerous "undisclosed ploys" to oversell products to distributors, exceeding the market demand for them. The fine McAfee agreed to pay will be subtracted from a $50 million charge the company reported in the quarter ended Sept. 30, so it will not count against future profit, according to McAfee officials. The company also will appoint an independent consultant to review its accounting policies as the SEC's investigation continues.