Cyanogen, which aims to offer the world a more open flavor of Android, is trying to bulk up for its battle to out-Google Android’s creator.
The company has hired Vivian Lee, currently a senior director of mobile product marketing at Electronic Arts, to serve as VP of marketing, while Sid Murlidhar of Facebook is joining to head up third-party integrations into Cyanogen’s software. Murlidhar helped develop the Facebook Zero program and also worked with the company’s partners on the Facebook Home effort.
“Everyone in the world wants an open Android,” CEO Kirt McMaster told Re/code. “They want to get outside of Google’s tyranny, if you will.”
Murlidhar, as director of ecosystem, will help Cyanogen work with other companies to incorporate their Android services into its operating system.
In Lee, Cyanogen is getting some much needed help on the marketing front, particularly after its hardware partner OnePlus launched two ill-fated promotions. One encouraged consumers to smash their current phones (a safety and environmental hazard) while a “Ladies First” promotion encouraged women to pose with the OnePlus logo in order to win votes in a poll. (OnePlus later apologized and pulled the “Ladies First” promotion.)
“We weren’t happy,” McMaster said, saying he gave his partners an earful after the promotions launched, but said that having a full-time marketing person should hopefully help the company keep closer tabs on the marketing efforts of its partners. Plus, he acknowledged Cyanogen itself is “primarily hacker dudes” and could benefit from having some female leadership.