Biz Break: John McAfee is back

Top Of The Order: 

He’s A New World Man: Just when you think it might be a boring old Monday, let’s all be thankful that people like John McAfee exist.

For those who both know of, and have no idea who John McAfee is, here’s a quick bio:

  • He founded McAfee software, one of the first, big-name, anti-virus software makers.
  • He sold McAfee to Intel for $7.6 billion back in 2011.
  • He then became a sort-of-fugitive in Belize, when, in 2012, he fled his home in the Central American nation after local cops wanted to talk to him about the murder of a neighbor. McAfee was later declared to not be a suspect in the case.
  • He recently claimed, and then took back those claims, that he could have cracked open the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone that the FBI wanted Apple to help it unlock.
  • Oh…He’s also running as a Libertarian Party candidate for president.
  • No, we did not make up that last one.

And just to make things more interesting, on Monday, McAfee was named the chief executive of MGT Capital Investments, which, as the name might imply, is an investment firm. And what they invest in are fantasy sports and mobile games. And, no, we didn’t make that line up, either.

If you haven’t heard of MGT, don’t worry. Chances are many others haven’t heard about it either. The company only had a market cap of about $5 million last Friday, but by the end of the day Monday, MGT’s shares had, ahem, “surged” by more than 34 percent to close at 49 cents, and give the company a market cap of $8.9 million. Hey it’s probably still worth more than the Libertarian party’s entire presidential ad campaign budget, right?

And as part of the deal that comes with bringing in McAfee, not only does MGT get McAfee, they get his name, too. Literally…MGT will change its name to John McAfee Global Technologies and is acquiring some of the assets of McAfee’s anti-spy software company, D-Vasive, along with McAfee himself.

It’s not known yet if McAfee were to win the Libertarian presidential nomination if he would have to give up his new job at MGT/John McAfee Global Tech. All we know for sure is that if McAfee does get the Libertarian nod, and there is any justice in this world, a presidential debate between Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton/Bernie Sanders and John McAfee would be more entertaining than the Super Bowl.

And, no, we couldn’t even come close to making that possibility up.

Middle Innings: 

Lights, Camera, Spotify: If it seems like every company with a hint of content, or access to content online is coming out with its own streaming service, well, you aren’t far from the truth. You’ve got the big-name content aggregators like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, and then you’ve got specific networks doing their own thing such as HBO, Showtime and Starz, and even more specialized channels like the SundanceNow Doc Club, which, as the name suggests, features documentaries, and Acorn TV and its predominantly British-based programming.

And now you can add Spotify to that group.

Spotify has done some video for about a year, as members in the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Sweden have been able to watch video clips from programs on ESPN, Comedy Central and MTV. But the company is now moving to distinguish itself from its rivals even further with plans to launch 12 new original series that are about the music and entertainment industries.

Among those behind the Spotify programming are music mogul Russell Simmons, who is producing a show called “Rush Hour” involving hip-hop acts, and actor Tim Robbins, who is working on a mockumentary series about dance-music performers.

Bottom Of The Lineup: 

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Monday…

Movin’ On Up: Depomed was a big gainer, rising 15 percent, and advances also came from Accuray, Wageworks, Medivation and Silicon Graphics.

In The Red: LendingClub shares took a beating, falling almost 35 percent after the San Francisco-based online loan marketplace’s chief executive resigned following the discovery of inappropriately loans made to an investor. Other losses came from Aemetis, GoPro, InvenSense and SunPower.

The SV150 Index of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies rose 0.3 percent to 1,579.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index also added 0.3 percent and closed at 4,750.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.2 percent to end the day at 17,705.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index barely move to close at 2,058.

Quote Of The Day: “I would just say questionable.” — Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr on whether Steph Curry, aka, The World’s Best Basketball Player, would play in Game 4 of the Warriors playoff series against the Portland Trailblazers Monday night.

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Photo: John McAfee listens to a question at the “Fireside Chat with John McAfee” talk during the C2SV Technology Conference + Music Festival at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose in September 2013.   (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)


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  • null

    John McAfee actually resigned from the McAfee in 1994.

  • Wes

    No wouldn’t want to use whatever product he might have ‘developed’ ever.

  • WatchedClock

    McAfee had no part in the sale to Intel for $7.68B, since he had been gone for years. His $100M (??) fortune was swallowed by the tech implosion of the early 00’s, he lost his toy land, so he had to go back to work