McAfee's CEO Blogs for Bucks

Since new CEO Dave DeWalt took the helm of troubled McAfee (NYSE: MFE  ) in early March, the company's stock has increased 10%. Whether or not DeWalt had anything to do with the shares' rise, this software veteran will likely help McAfee grab its share of the continued growth in security software.

The company's first-quarter revenue increased 16% to $314 million, posting strong gains in all geographic regions and across the company's consumer and enterprise segments. In the quarter, McAfee also debuted a variety of new products aimed at diverse niches such as federal agencies and mobile devices.

First-quarter net income increased 13% to $46.2 million, or $0.28 per share. Fools should note that these figures are preliminary, because McAfee is still determining the ramifications of its stock options investigation. All the same, the company posted $102 million in cash flow from operations, and it still has about $1.3 billion in the bank.

Hiring DeWalt definitely helps to validate McAfee's business. As the former executive vice president of customer operations for EMC (NYSE: EMC  ) , he elevated the company's software business to the ranks of the world's top 10 firms -- largely through acquisitions.

DeWalt has an ambitious 100-day plan for McAfee. His main priority is to clean up the options mess and establish stronger corporate governance policies. That seems like a vital step for a company that sells security products.

He also plans to revamp McAfee's organization, improving operational efficiencies and visibility to help the company focus on profitable businesses and growth opportunities. DeWalt has even started his own blog and launched several customer newsletters. This may sound touchy-feely, but it's a clear indicator that the new chief wants McAfee to be a much more open organization.

Long-term growth is a given for security software in general, but McAfee faces tough competitors such as Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC  ) , Check Point (Nasdaq: CHKP  ) , and even Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) . Having DeWalt behind the wheel is a critical step that should improve McAfee's credibility, enterprise business, and acquisitions strategy.

Scanning for further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Tom Taulli, author of The Complete M&A Handbook, does not own shares mentioned in this article. He is currently ranked 1,784 out of 28,166 in CAPS. Microsoft and Symantec are Inside Value picks. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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