McAfee's board of directors has named former EMC executive Dave DeWalt as the security software company's CEO and president.
DeWalt, 42, a 20-year veteran of the technology industry, most recently was executive vice-president and president of customer operations for EMC. He takes the helm of a company tainted by allegations surrounding backdating of stock options by former executives.
David Fuller, McAfee's interim president and CEO, will leave that job 1 April, the day before DeWalt takes over. Fuller will stay as an advisor to help with the transition and will remain on the board. DeWalt is also expected to be appointed to the board.
Fuller stepped in as interim chief in October 2006 following the resignation of George Samenuk as chairman and CEO and Kevin Weiss as president. They left following allegations that they were involved in improperly backdating stock options to McAfee executives.
DeWalt said that he is prepared to take over the company, even as it operates under a legal cloud.
"It definitely is an issue for me to deal with," he said. "I don't condone what happened but it is behind us."
A federal indictment alleges improper backdating of stock option grants by McAfee executives in 2000 and 2002.
Last week, former McAfee legal counsel Kent Roberts was arraigned on federal fraud charges in relation to his role in the backdating scandal. He pleaded not guilty before a federal judge in San Francisco.