The times when Cyanogen Inc. blustered about “putting a bullet through Google’s head” are over. These days, when company executives speak publicly, it’s to refute worrying reports about Cyanogen’s struggling business.
In July, reports claimed Cyanogen was downsizing its operating system team and “pivoting” towards app development. Then in August, sources told The Information that the user figures that Cyanogen had been bandying about were massively exaggerated. CEO Kirt McMaster, author of the infamous “bullet” comment, called the first story “false” and the other “wrong on so many levels.”
Despite the rebuttals, it looks like Cyanogen is indeed going through a transformation. A comment from CTO and co-founder Steve Kondik fuels rumors that the company is indeed changing its focus away from OS development:
“There isn’t really going to be much if any involvement from the Inc this time around and I’m taking on a lot of stuff on my own to try and keep us moving forward.”
Kondik made the comment in a CyanogenMod commit thread uncovered by Android Police. It looks like Cyanogen Inc. will no longer be a driving force behind the development of the CyanogenMod community project.
Judging from the comment, Steve Kondik still wants to be involved in the project that he founded and turned in the most popular custom Android ROM, but in a personal capacity only.
Kondik’s comment is hardly an official statement, but it does gel with the reports about Cyanogen laying off employees from its open source team. Kirt McMaster confirmed the lay-offs, without specifying what teams were impacted.
The loss of Cyanogen could spell trouble for CyanogenMod. While the project is, nominally, driven by a community of independent developers, Cyanogen had dozens of developers working full time on it. At the very least, development of CM14 could slow down significantly.
We’ve reached out to Cyanogen and we will update this post if we hear anything back.
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