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Cyanogen Inc. fires over 20% of its staff, OS future bleak

Cyanogen Inc. has fired almost a quarter of its staff, mostly from the open source side, in a move that puts the OS' future in doubt for a new focus on apps.

Published onJuly 23, 2016

New Cyanogen logo

I guess that bullet intended for Google’s head kinda backfired at Cyanogen Inc. First reported by Android Police, Cyanogen Inc. has laid off around 30 of its staff, following an extended executive retreat. The majority of those losing their jobs are on the OS side of things, putting the future of Cyanogen’s vision of a Google-less Android in question.

Understanding the differences between CyanogenMod, Cyanogen OS & Cyanogen, Inc.

Cyanogen himself, Steve Kondik reportedly led the layoffs, scheduling generic human resources meetings for the unlucky staffers, who were the only ones asked to report to work on Friday. Those that got told to stay home missed the carnage, as Android Police reported yesterday: “everyone who arrived at Cyanogen Inc. in Seattle this morning did so to lose their job (aside from those conducting the layoffs).”

For now the future of Cyanogen OS is uncertain, but highly likely to be shut down, with 30 of the 136-strong workforce being dismissed, primarily from the open source side. Cyanogen Inc. (the for-profit arm of Cyanogen’s various ventures) is reportedly “pivoting” to apps. While details are scarce, it sounds like this will focus on an attempt to monetize the recently announced Cyanogen MODs app platform.

For now the future of Cyanogen OS is uncertain, but it is highly likely to be shut down.

According to Re/code, the new app focus will be led by newly appointed COO, Lior Tal, who only just arrived from Facebook a month ago. As you may have heard, several higher level executives have recently departed the sinking ship that is Cyanogen Inc. Too, including veteran product lead Dave Herman.

CEO Kirk McMaster is, for once, remaining mum on the goings on at Cyanogen Inc. But it’s safe to say that moving forward, the bravado and bluster McMaster has been known for will be toned down a little. For those of you concerned, it seems likely that the onus of developing for CyanogenMod (the custom ROM) will now fall on the community due to the lack of paid staff at Cyanogen Inc. to continue work on it.

Does this news surprise you? What do you think will happen to Cyanogen’s various interests in future?

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