Intel Poaches Cisco Security Vet To Lead Intel-McAfee Teams

A Cisco Systems veteran charged with overseeing the company's end-to-end security business is joining Intel Security to oversee security strategy and product development teams at McAfee and Intel's hardware and software business.

Intel named Chris Young senior vice president and general manager of Intel Security on Monday. Young, formerly senior vice president of Cisco's Security Business Group, will spearhead the melding of McAfee's business and Intel's hardware and software product teams. He will join Intel's management committee and reports to Intel President Renée James.

"Chris Young is a world-class leader in cybersecurity, and I have full confidence that he’ll establish Intel Security as the pre-eminent provider of pervasive security and identity protection, James said in a statement. "The opportunities for innovation and growth are unparalleled.’

[Related: NGFW Business Growing, Says Former Cisco Exec Leading McAfee Sales]

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Young will create a unified Intel Security business unit, pulling together McAfee's innovation and Intel's product security team.

Young oversaw strategy, engineering and product development for Cisco's security product business at a time when the company was broadening its security portfolio through its $2.7 billion acquisition of Sourcefire.
Before joining Cisco in 2011, Young spent a year heading up VMware's end-user computing group and, before that, spent six years as senior vice president of products at RSA.

Young is the second Cisco executive to depart for Intel in recent weeks. Scott Lovett, a former Cisco sales executive, was named head of McAfee's worldwide sales earlier this month. Lovett held a number of sales roles at Cisco and was most recently part of the team integrating sales operations following the Sourcefire acquisition.

Ace Computers, of Arlington Heights, Ill., is an Intel partner but tends to deal primarily with hardware rather than security since it's just rebadged McAfee products, said company CEO John Samborski.

The addition of a cybersecurity veteran with Cisco pedigree signals to Sambroski that Intel is making a serious play in the arena.

"Anything that strengthens one of our closest vendors is a good thing," Samborski said.

Intel acquired McAfee for $7.6 billion in 2010, but the company has primarily operated autonomously since then, despite a closer alignment with Intel's hardware security strategy. Intel said in January it would rebrand the McAfee name as Intel Security.

McAfee acquired Stonesoft last year to extend its portfolio into next-generation firewalls.The McAfee and Intel product teams also developed and launched DeepSAFE technology, embedding security in the CPU for protection against rootkits. The company also added Intel chips to its networking gear.

McAfee has increasingly bridged its products into the Intel security strategy, said Tom Richer, chief sales officer at New York City-based managed service provider Computer Resources of America. Richer and other solution providers tell CRN that McAfee's branding change earlier this year to Intel Security hasn't resulted in too many visible changes.

"They are still using the McAfee name as far as I can see, but the relationship is growing tighter with Intel and I think it's been positive," said Richer, whose company has more than 300 clients running McAfee's endpoint security platform.

McAfee has been building out its portfolio to address both endpoint and network security and visibility and is ahead of some security vendors that are executing on a similar strategy, Richer said. By building out a complete IT stack, vendors could deliver a holistic security package for end customers with integrated components.

Michael Novinson contributed to this report.