Anti-virus security vendor McAfee Inc. announced Tuesday the sudden departure of its president, Gene Hodges.

Hodges, an 11-year McAfee veteran who was responsible for the company’s technology development, strategy and execution worldwide, has resigned to take the reins of access control vendor Websense Inc.

McAfee did not identify a replacement for Hodges. In a brief statement, the company said Hodges’ team will work directly with Chairman and CEO George Samenuk.

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Since joining McAfee in 1995, Hodges has held numerous executive positions, driving the company’s push into several key market segments, including wireless security, plug-and-play appliances and managed services.

Before becoming McAfee’s president in October 2001, Hodges managed the McAfee product group and also served as vice president of security marketing.

Prior to McAfee, Hodges was vice president of marketing for a wireless data startup and managed the Office Information Systems business unit for Digital Equipment Corp.

The departure comes just days after McAfee was ordered to pay $50 million to settle long-running securities fraud charges. McAfee denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, but agreed to pay the hefty fine, in addition to hiring an independent auditor to review its accounting practices and expand a program that allows customers and business partners to anonymously report unethical behavior.

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