Kirt McMaster, known more for his statement about “putting a bullet through Google’s head” and his loud-mouthedness than his work, will be stepping down from his role as the CEO of Cyanogen Inc. McMaster will remain a part of Cyanogen Inc. under the “Executive Chairman” title, however, his new role in the company remains unclear.
McMaster will be replaced by current COO Lior Tal. In an internal email sent to Cyanogen Inc. employees, McMaster also confirmed previous reports about the company moving away from Cyanogen OS. He says that with Cyanogen OS, the company was not scaling fast and in an efficient manner. With Lior at the helm, McMaster hopes that Cyanogen Inc. will “pivot to a modular approach” that is being dubbed “Cyanogen Now”.
Cyanogen Inc. got off to a flying start when they first transitioned from CyanogenMod to Cyanogen OS. The company managed to secure a deal with OnePlus that led to Cyanogen OS being pre-installed on the OnePlus One. However, since then, while Cyanogen OS has been shipped in a few phones, none of them have exactly sold in huge numbers. Additionally, other projects from the company have also turned out to be a dud and that has not exactly left it with a clear revenue stream.
The full email sent by Kirt McMaster to all Cyanogen Inc. employees can be found below:
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. ; )
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