Cyanogen, the company, is not your grandfather's CyanogenMod, so to speak. The company is slowly growing beyond its "indie" roots to become an Android startup to really reckon with. And this batch of hirings, bearing names from some big industry players, shows just how much the company wants to be taken seriously.
Dave Herman is now the Vice-President of Products. Herman has held undisclosed key roles in Hulu, Amazon, and Microsoft and is said to have been responsible for a number of popular products. Former Director of Engineering at HTC, Tyler Carper joins Cyanogen, Inc. as the new VP of Engineering. Last but not the least is Vik Natarajan who was the former VP for Corporate Marketing in MediaTek, now holding Cyanogen's top role for Global Partnerships and Distribution.
But what do these hires mean in practice. For one, it reflects Cyanogen Inc's vision as a truly competitive company, with positions you'd only hear about in businesses. It might just be titles for some, but it does give it an air of credibility when striking up partnerships with OEM's like OPPO and OnePlus. Secondly, it expands Cyanogen's knowledge and expertise beyond its comfort zone. The company truly started off as a bunch of Android enthusiasts creating one of the most popular custom ROMs. Now they're equipping themselves to deal with hardware, markets, and business from all over the world.
Fears of Cyanogen Inc turning evil when it went corporate have so far not materialized, though some might perhaps argue that it is still too early to say so. Cyanogen Inc has continued to work closely with the community side of CyanogenMod, carrying over changes and new features it implemented in OnePlus' CyanogenMod 11S and even making available its new Theme Engine to AOSP and other ROMs. But even if Cyanogen Inc should fall from grace, the Android community can rest easy that others like Paranoid Android, OmniROM and many more will be ready to step up.