kirt mcmaster steve kondik koushik dutta cyanogen

Kirt McMaster (left), with Steve Kondik and Koushik Dutta

Via: Wired

As it prepares for its one-year anniversary, Cyanogen Inc., the Seattle-based startup created to commercialize CyanogenMod, is beefing up its executive lineup with people from Facebook and Electronic Arts.

To date, Cyanogen secured almost $30 million in funding, and Steve Kondik (co-founder and CTO) and Kirt McMaster (co-founder and CEO) used some of that money to strengthen the team with talented developers and executives with experience in the mobile industry.

According to Re/code, the latest to join the ranks are Vivian Lee, a mobile product marketing exec formerly with Electronic Arts, and Sid Murlidhar, formerly with Facebook.

Lee will take the position of Vice President of Marketing, while Murlidhar will handle “third-party integrations into Cyanogen software.” At Facebook, Murlidhar headed Facebook Zero, the initiative to make a basic version of the service available free of charge for mobile users in developing countries, as well as partner relationships for the ill-fated Facebook Home project.

Cyanogen’s move to install a marketing boss seems welcome in the light of the flack that the startup caught (indirectly) because of OnePlus’ PR blunders. When OnePlus put up and quickly cancelled the cringe-worthy Ladies First promo, Cyanogen publicly distanced itself from its hardware partner. Moving forward, Lee will have to make sure that the startup’s name isn’t dragged in any other embarrassing debacles.

The Re/code report also includes an interesting little snippet from Cyanogen’s CEO:

“Everyone in the world wants an open Android,” McMaster said. “They want to get outside of Google’s tyranny, if you will.”

Update: in light of Francisco’s comment below, I edited the last paragraph of this post to clarify what I meant –Bogdan.

It’s likely that it was just a poor choice of words, and we don’t know the larger context of the discussion. But if he really meant it, McMaster’s statement comes off as a little bizarre. Cyanogen can’t really help fight the tyranny (Google’s closely held control over its apps), and complaining about it while building on Google’s platform could come off as ungrateful.

Bogdan Petrovan
Bogdan is the European Managing Editor of Android Authority. He loves tech, travel, and fantasy. He wishes he had more time for two of those things. Bogdan's phone is a Nexus 6P.
  • JC


    • _

      With software rushed to be released filled with high severity bugs, right?

      • JC

        it’ll also be an Origin exclusive.

  • Strangerlefty

    With Bastards from two of the worst companies out there I will be staying clear of cyanosis.

  • ItAintYouItsMe

    “Google’s tyranny” he sounds so ungrateful.

  • Guest

    For Oogle

  • MasterMuffin

    EA and FB? Oh god…

    McMaster is a nice name though :D

    • TDioWS

      But not as good as McLovin

  • Francisco Franco

    Next time you write an article as sensitive as this topic at least make sure you know what you’re talking about. That statement is probably taken out of context. As in tyranny I’m sure he meant the entire ecosystem as in the entire Play Store, services stack and whatever Google demands as needed to have certification to ship with gapps, which in turn have made that some of the apps like the Dialer or Music that are on AOSP are not the same as the ones shipped with your phones due to proprietary code bundled with the Google Services stack – and that doesn’t see that open anymore doesn’t it?

    Regardless of the reasons that made Google go through with it it has nothing to do with AOSP as a software stack, in which many of the current custom roms are built from. Let’s not confuse both stacks just for a click-bait article like this one.

    I’m not supporting either factions (Google or/and CM), just stating the obvious because, like usual, articles like these will create confusion and often biased users.

    • Didn’t mean to inflame or click bait. :) I noted that we don’t know the context of the quote.

      His statement doesn’t make sense to me – I know he was referring to the entire Google package, not AOSP. That’s why I said OnePlus One ships with Google apps. But I don’t see how Cyanogen can oppose Google’s grip over its own apps package, the so called “tyranny.” At best they can offer alternative apps, but let’s face it, it can’t ever offer what Google can offer.

      His statement may be true – I am sure none of the OEMs like that Google is imposing terms on them. It’s just that I don’t see how CM can help.

      I didn’t argue that Android is open or not open. I was just commenting on his odd statement.

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Francisco Franco

        Thanks for replying back and explaining some of your statements on the article – noted and I respect your views and opinions :)

        Have a good day!

        • frankob

          And obviously Francisco Franco knows about tyranny… :-p

  • Luka Mlinar

    I hope they drop OnePlus, it’s ruining their reputation.

    • Francisco Franco


      • Luka Mlinar

        Well they should at least get ready for a bunch of tweets saying “we have nothing to do with that”.

    • Aliff Alfiry

      Nope. OnePlus is a start for a new generation of devices running on CM. Imagine in a few years we’ll have CM12S, CM12Q, CM12Z all for specific devices

      • Luka Mlinar

        S stands for stable.

  • Jamal

    The constant negative PR is doing a great job in making me lost all the respect I had for Cyanogen. They sound very ingrateful and full of themselves, backed by that cheap Ladies First campaign.

    • flea

      Did… Did you even read the article?

      ” When OnePlus put up and quickly cancelled the cringe-worthy Ladies First promo, Cyanogen publicly distanced itself from its hardware partner.”

    • jhaggstx1

      That campaign was not their’s and they stayed away from it…

  • agustinsflinn

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    =================> CORT.AS/DEmu


  • Evris K.

    So Cyanogen bites the hand which feeds them. What about to fix their rom’s bugs and horrible menus and stop talking trash? Android is open and like the article says it’s called AOSP and has hundreds of roms based on it. Android is Google’s work no matter what and they deserve the credit from letting Android be absolutely free and open.

    • Elliot Derhay

      Although Linux can’t legally be made closed-source, I do agree that Cyanogen is crazy to badmouth the people who actually do the Android development. CM is a modified version, but they don’t have to build the next versions of Android themselves.

    • I own or have worked on multiple Android devices from companies that are partnered with Google that have no source available, so not “absolutely free and open”. I have also seen fixes for issues and features come from independent developers that later gets implemented without so much as a thank you.

  • frankob

    Well, there come Ubuntu Mobile, Tizen and such… It won’t be easy for those, but the only way of getting “outside of Google’s tyranny” would be not to use a Google platform at all, right?

    • Tom Hayden

      I can’t help wondering if CM should be looking very very closely at getting involved with the Ubuntu ‘phone’ project – I think it could be a significantly more powerful platform than Android is. Seems likely the Ubuntu ecosystem will allow much better access ‘under the hood’ than Android does….

      • Mike Reid

        Ubuntu on mobile seems to be going nowhere fast.

        Same with Firefox OS, and just about everything except Android and iOS.

      • frankob

        Indeed. By the end of the year, the first Ubuntu phones are scheduled to enter the market, though through a “small door”. It will be interesting to see what happens with it after that.

  • nikolas

    If Android wasnt open then you wouldnt guys have millions in your bank accounts by now. The least you can do is respect the platform that made you.

  • jvader2012

    Man, is Kirt Mcmaster from the Hangover series, he’s the Bomb. Seriously funny.The new Wolf Pack. love the movies

  • David Allen

    Oh god who is next? Top ranking business men from other beloved companies such as Comcast and Verizon? I guess I will hold off before jumping ship but all I see in the future is micro-transactions and code pushed out too quickly just to meet a deadline. Then again I’m at the age where I can say I remember when EA was good company that made some of the greatest games out there and Facebook didn’t exist. I really hope I don’t get to say “I remember when Cyanogenmod was a great, free version of android”.

  • crutchcorn

    EA and FB….. So we’re going to have inOS payments, expantion packs, and being able to “like” and comment on features

    • Tom Hayden

      Yep, and DRM!

      • crutchcorn


  • Bruce Willis

    Go Cyanogen get burned like Amazon :)

    After that bitchmove the majority of the community doesn’t even care about Cyanogen there are tons of good AOSP ROMS.

    Google isn’t locking anyone down you don’t have to use their services if you don’t want to. The majority of people want to though because they are good at what they do.