By Robert McMillan
IDG News Service
December 12, 2007
eEye Digital Security founder Marc Maiffret has left the company and
plans to launch a new venture, developing next-generation mobile phone
software for the corporate world.
A noted hacker, Maiffret co-founded eEye in the late 1990s with Firas
Bushnaq and had served as the company's CTO, overseeing a staff of about
30 engineers. Bushnaq stepped down as CEO in 2006, and Maiffret said
that he'd started thinking about leaving to pursue other startup ideas
earlier this year. "I'd been doing it a long time," he said Wednesday.
"I started the company when I was 17 and had been doing it the last 10
The 70-person company, based in Aliso Viejo, California, has been going
through some bumpy times lately. Bushnaq's replacement, Ross Brown, was
fired earlier this year, and eEye also recently shut down its Orange
County sales offices.
Maiffret said that this had nothing to do with his departure and that
he's leaving eEye in good shape, however. "Today, it's pretty much an
engine that's been running itself," he said. He stopped working for eEye
in September but didn't announce his departure until this week. eEye
representatives could not be reached immediately for comment, but
Maiffret said that the company has not yet found a replacement CTO.
He will be doing some consulting work and developing the new software
for Windows- and Blackberry-powered mobile phones, which he expects to
unveil in the first quarter of next year. "Everybody has these miniature
computers in their pockets, but nobody is doing anything interesting
with them," he said.
Although the new product will not be security-related, Maiffret said he
expects to remain involved in the security research community, where he
also plans to do consulting work as a self-described "CTO for hire."
"I'll probably be more involved in [security research] now," he said,
"because being CTO of eEye didn't leave me with a lot of personal time
to do hands-on research."
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