It is being reported that Cyanogen Inc. is in the process of making significant cuts to its workforce, ahead of a potential change in its business strategy. Cyanogen has offered smartphone manufacturers a version of Android that is not built by Google, but still offers access to Google services like the Play Store and Gmail.
Two tech industry publications – Android Police and Recode – with well-placed sources are now independently reporting news of the Cyanogen layoffs.
Android Police is reporting that staff cuts were made after bosses at Cyanogen had taken a ‘long executive retreat’, and that advanced notice was not provided to those affected.
Cyanogen’s activities have proven somewhat contentious, largely due to the impudent comments of its CEO Kirt McMaster.
Early in 2015, at The Information’s Next Phase of Android conference in San Francisco, he opened with the remark: ”I’m the CEO of Cyanogen. We’re attempting to take Android away from Google.”
In March of the same year, during an interview with Business Insider, McMaster declared that he expected companies like Samsung to be ‘slaughtered’.
McMaster then followed his Business Insider interview by telling Forbes that Cyanogen was ‘putting a bullet through Google’s head’.
Cyanogen has previously raised a significant amount of money to support its bid to produce a version of Android that is independent from Google. The company had secured the backing of high-profile investors, such as Microsoft, Rupert Murdoch, Twitter, Qualcomm and Telefonica.
Despite the considerable funding, Cyanogen has struggled to persuade a significant number of manufacturers to adopt its CyanogenMod-based operating system.
It is now possible that Cyanogen may switch focus away from its OS to a new strategy based around apps. Recode state that chief operating officer Lior Tal, who recently joined the company, is due to oversee a change in direction.
Cyanogen Inc. was established to commercially market the CyanogenMod open source aftermarket ROM.