McAfee hospitalized after arrest

As Central American officials decide the fate of security software guru John McAfee, Wall Street ponders the company he founded.

By Bruce Kennedy Dec 6, 2012 3:44PM

Credit: JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Caption: US anti-virus software pioneer John McAfee looks on in front of the Supreme Court in Guatemala City on December 04, 2012Updated 11:25 p.m. ET

John McAfee's dramatic saga has apparently taken a toll on his body. The software pioneer was briefly hospitalized Thursday after his lawyer said he suffered from stress and hypertension.

The health crisis came after McAfee was detained Wednesday in Guatemala for allegedly entering the country illegally from Belize. The arrest didn't stop McAfee from writing jailhouse blog posts, allegedly at the same time he was having health issues.

And so ends another day in the extraordinary life of McAfee, the software wizard and founder of the anti-virus security software that bears his name. McAfee went on the run last month following the shooting death of his neighbor in Belize, another American expatriate. While not charged in the murder, McAfee was wanted for questioning by authorities. And during his time as a fugitive, the 67-year-old has kept the world informed and updated on his exploits and thoughts via reporters, cell phone calls and postings on social media.

He maintained his communication even under detainment in Guatemala -- complementing the quality of Guatemalan jails, their Internet access and their coffee -- while asking if anyone in the blogosphere has friends in the U.S. State Department he can contact. Guatemala has reportedly denied his request for asylum and will send him back to Belize to face questioning.

As officials in Central America decide what to do with McAfee, the man, Wall Street is trying to figure out what is next for McAfee, the company. John McAfee sold off his stake in the business nearly two decades ago, and moved to Belize about three years ago. And McAfee the company, the world's second-largest security software maker, was bought by Intel (INTC) in 2010.

Several top executives at McAfee have stepped down recently, and in October the company announced plans to lay off a "small percentage" of its 7,100 employees.

Part of the problem, according to tech industry blogger Kevin Parrish, is that "security solution providers like McAfee and Symantec are reportedly struggling in an industry now commanded by smartphones and tablets. With the PC sector in a 'slump,' firms are turning to apps to reel in customers with free services that lead to more robust, premium options."

CNBC's Jim Cramer, meanwhile, has been voicing his own doubts about Intel's acquisition of McAfee. "What was the point of the semiconductor company moving aggressively into security software," he asked recently, "when the real issue it faced was the mobility challenge?"


McAfee the company, meanwhile, appears to be working to keep the public focused on its workings and away from its founder. It recently posted its cybercrime threats report and touted the fact it was named one of the top 100 places to work in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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Dec 7, 2012 11:43AM
I can't believe how eager people are to rush to judgement without any facts. Then if you think that the South American police aren't corrupt then you are drinking Kool-aid. need I mention the drug cartels of mexico and how then seem to often work unencumbered by police and laws?
Dec 6, 2012 4:49PM
Dec 6, 2012 4:41PM
Is this guy the epitome of a Kool Aid Addict Sociopath or what?
Dec 7, 2012 10:04AM
probably bipolar and also likley addicted to amphetamines, coke etc.  this guy is obviously an accident waiting to happen and almost certainly killed his neighbor, or one of his people did, after the neighbor apparently poisoned his dogs. 
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