A few self-proclaimed experts on the cyber security industry are cheering for a potential divestiture of Intel Security:
A divestiture could come as part of Krzanich’s broad restructuring of the company away from PC-dependent businesses. In April, Krzanich said he would cut some 12,000 jobs and shift resources towards higher growth areas. Since the announcement, Intel has already cut back on some of its mobile chip lines that failed to get traction.
“The sale of McAfee would contribute to Intel’s employee reduction target without actually costing exiting employees their jobs,” Argus Research analyst Jim Kelleher said in a recent report. “Intel may also sense that the time is right for cybersecurity industry consolidation.”
Cyber security is a tough industry to be in these days. Symantec is attempting to make a come-back, after years of missteps, with their recent acquisition of Blue Coat. Cisco, FireEye, Palo Alto, and the myriad other vendors are all trying to do what Intel Security can already do: integrate the various products into a single cohesive piece of defense and automated remediation technology.
On the one hand, Intel is a huge company and is likely weighing down Intel Security. It is obvious the mothership is uninterested in integrating security technology at the chip level otherwise it would have already happened.
On the other hand, Intel is a huge company and capable of backing a vital business like Intel Security, providing the business unit with much needed financial resources and management expertise.
It will be very interesting to see how this shakes out over the next month.