Cyanogen is laying off a bulk of its staff around the world. The layoffs are primarily in the teams developing the alternate Android-ROM going by the same name.
A source familiar with Cyanogen’s plan has confirmed the move, reports Android Police. Cyanogen which employs 136 people is planning to let 30 of them go, which translates to around 22 per cent of the workforce. A significant number of these people were involved in company’s open-source ROM development.
Android Police is also reporting that Cyanogen is completely abandoning its workforce based out of smaller offices in Lisbon and India. The report also states Cyanogen is cutting down the teams involved with systems and QA. Cyanogen has tried to pitch its alternate Android ROM as a great alternative to the one served by Google. However, the result has been mixed.
In January 2015, CyanogenMod’s CEO Kirt McMaster has blamed Google over its control of Android in an interview to The Information. His comments had hinted that Cyanogen would move away from Google-centric version of Android to one with its own app store. But that hasn’t really be a success and the company has struggled to continue the partnership it formed with some OEMs.
The company did make some grounds after OnePlus shipped its first flagship killer with Cyanogen, but the partnership fell through next year. Then Cyanogen did an exclusive partnership with Micromax’s sister brand Yu Televentures, but Yu has gone ahead to build its own ROM.
Cyanogen recently raised money from Microsoft Corporation and decided to bundle Microsoft’s productivity apps with its own ROM. Recode reports Cyanogen’s restructuring is being foreseen by company COO Lio Tal, who was earlier with Facebook. What’s next for Cyanogen? Both Android Police and Recode are reporting that Cyanogen plans to pivot to apps. But it is unclear what that pivot could mean. Cyanogen’s USP has been its launcher and better control over notification systems. With Android being completely open source, Cyanogen could end up bringing standalone launcher apps but that may not be enough.