Cyanogen Inc. gets a minor executive restructuring


Cyanogen Inc. is going through a minor restructuring on the executive level. The company’s CEO, Kirt McMaster, is stepping down from his lead role so that the Cyanogen will be able to refocus on its efforts.

Hit the break tor details.

McMaster isn’t leaving the company. He just won’t be operating in the CEO position anymore, instead taking on a Executive Chairman position. In an email sent to employee’s, he says 80% of his role will be external focused.

Taking up the CEO mantle will be Lior Tal. Tal was previously hired on as the company’s COO, but will now be taking the lead within the company. In the email, there weren’t any details on who would be taking on Tal’s former COO position. We should hear more on that later, likely when the company updates the “About” details on its website.

As part of this shakeup, Cyanogen will be refocusing its efforts. They won’t be trying to pursue the “full stack” business anymore. Sell an operating system hasn’t become feasible for them. Instead, Cyanogen will take a more modular approach that they’re calling Cyanogen Now.


As mentioned, all of this information was sent out to employees via an email from McMaster, and a very unprofessional one at that. Here’s the email in full, as per Android Police:

“As some of you may be aware I have moved to a new role… Executive Chairman.

Lior is now the CEO.

Some history… last Oct/Nov it became clear to me the “full stack” model was not working… although we shipped millions of devices with Cyanogen OS we were not scaling fast enough nor in an efficient manner. We should all be proud of these achievements and the devices shipped… but in startup world even good work may not be good enough to win. I realized at this time we needed not only a product strategy that was more modular but also someone that saw growth as a 100M+ challenge not a 10M+ challenge. I started to look for someone that could be a force multiplier for this growth to join. Lior and I first met in December of last year… and over the months that followed I managed to court him into joining the company.

Lior joined… worked side by side with myself and the rest of the leadership team through what was a very painful RIF and a pivot to a modular approach… Cyanogen Now… which we believe can enable the scale required for success. Myself and the board have been impressed by Lior’s calm, perseverance and solution oriented drive during this transition. We felt it was time for a change. After 4 yrs at the helm… for better or worse… the company survives…. with an incredibly strong balance sheet and a product strategy that can bring us scale. I am personally very excited to hand over the reigns to someone I have grown to respect as both a friend and colleague.

Join me in congratulating Lior as the new CEO of Cyanogen Inc… it is well deserved!

So… what the hell is an Executive Chairman? I will still be very active with the company… working on product strategy, recruiting and working with strategic partners as we evolve and grow our business… however my role will be 80% external facing VS internal.

I hope you are all as eager for the next chapter as am I. I want to thank everyone in the company for your patience and perseverance… the last few months have been hard on all of us… our best work is ahead of us.

Now bring on all the “bullet through the head” jokes from the Android blogs. ; )”

There’s a lot of new things afoot at Cyanogen, and hopefully this change will help them realign its goals.

And, if you’re wondering what McMaster is referring to about the “bullet through the head jokes,” he told Forbes in an interview in early 2015 that he wanted to reclaim Android from Google and “put a bullet through Google’s head.”

We saw just how well that went.

Let’s hope this shakeup brings some professionalism back to the company and realigns its goal in a way where Cyanogen can be the success that it needs to be.

source: Android Police

About the Author: Brad Ward

Brad is a tech enthusiast, writing and tinkering with all things technology since 2011. He currently bounces between the LG G3 and his beloved Moto X! His interests include reading, entrepreneurship, the gym, and of course, queso.