Citing “multiple sources,” Android Police reported Friday that the company was “in the midst of laying off a significant portion of its workforce around the world.” According to Android Police’s sources, the company has laid off about 20 percent of its staff, though the report notes that “it’s unclear” whether more employees will also lose their jobs.
Recode confirmed the report Friday evening with its own sources, and added that Cyanogen “is said to be working on a new strategy being overseen by newly hired Chief Operating Officer Lior Tal,” formerly of Facebook.
The story behind the story: Cyanogen has long been a staple of the Android enthusiast community. The company grew out of CyanogenMod, an open-source project that created a customized version of Android. In recent years, CyanogenMod went from a tool for tinkerers into a full-fledged alternative to Google’s standard versions of Android, and made its way onto a few phones, such as the OnePlus One. But as Recode notes, Cyanogen has had a hard time getting phone makers to build phones around its Android variant, which seems to have made this past week’s job cuts inevitable.
What’s next for Cyanogen?
Although it’s not entirely clear what happens next, one source tells Android Police that Cyanogen may be shifting toward focusing on apps, though the report continues to state that, “it’s not clear what such a pivot would entail.”
Shifting to an app-centric focus would not necessarily mean CyanogenMod would disappear, but it may allow the company to bring some of CyanogenMod’s feature-set to a broader audience of Android users. Whether or not that would be enough to stem the tide and stabilize the company is anyone’s guess, so in the meantime, we’ll have to sit back and see how everything plays out.
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