Cyanogen Inc. Lays Off 30 of its Staff; May Turn from OS Towards Apps

Cyanogen Inc. Lays Off 30 of its Staff; May Turn from OS Towards Apps

Remember Cyanogen Inc.? Yeah, the same company whose top executives were reported as expressing their intention to “put a bullet through Google’s head“. The Cyanogen Inc. (not to be confused with their open-source sister branch, Cyanogenmod) that partnered with Microsoft to replace the Google Apps on its OS with Microsoft alternatives.

Well, it seems that their plans to become the top dog in the Android world may have had a few change of plans. As reported by AndroidPolice from “multiple sources”, and confirmed by Recode, Cyanogen Inc. has fired around 30 of its 136 people employed. That’s more than 20% of its workforce, making this decision certainly one that would have a significant impact on their workings. The worst loser in this round of layoffs are allegedly the people that worked (at least in part) on the open source branches of Cyanogen Inc.’s software. This does not mean the death of Cyanogenmod. It does however, deeply affect Cyanogen OS, and other Cyanogen Inc. products and developments.

According to AndroidPolice, the layoffs were led by Steve Kondik himself in Seattle, where the systems and QA teams were cut down (along with Palo Alto). Smaller offices such as the ones in Lisbon and India are reportedly entirely down. Community support members have been asked to leave too.

Layoffs reportedly came after a long executive retreat for the company’s leaders and were conducted with no advanced notice. Employees who were not let go were told not to show up to work today. Those who did show up were the unlucky ones: they had generic human resources meetings rather ominously added to their calendars last night. So, everyone who arrived at Cyanogen Inc. in Seattle this morning did so to lose their job (aside from those conducting the layoffs). That’s a bit grim.


So, what happens next? There is reportedly a “major strategic shift” underway for the Cyanogen Inc. this is being headed by Cyanogen’s new COO, Lior Tal. The company is allegedly “pivoting” to “apps”, whatever that means. Speculation on this end is being pointed towards the (not) coincidentally named Cyanogen MOD initiative, but the future and question of what Cyanogen Inc. will do or won’t do is still up in the air.

If you are still waiting for the bullet in Google’s head, I wouldn’t advise holding your breadth on it. Let’s hope we get more information on this development.

What are your thoughts on this “major strategic shift”? Let us know in the comments below!

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

I am a tech journalist with XDA since 2015, while being a qualified business-litigation lawyer with experience in the field. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected]