Cyanogen hires senior engineers from Amazon, Qualcomm in alternative Android push

Startup Cyanogen (a 2015 Fierce 15 winner) is hiring veteran engineering talent as it continues to develop an alternative version of Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android operating system. The firm announced that it picked up two senior engineers, Stephen Lawler, who will serve as senior vice president of engineering, and Karthick Iyer, who will be vice president of global systems.

Lawler, who will oversee worldwide engineering for the company, most recently served as a vice president at Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and before that spent 15 years at Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) in key senior roles, including CTO of Bing Maps and general manager of software development for Bing Maps, Bing Mobile, Local Search, MSN and Virtual Earth.

Iyer, who will lead systems engineering, is coming to Cyanogen from chipset provider Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), where has spent the past 18 years. Most recently, he was the vice president of engineering and led a global team working on Android solutions at the chipset level.

Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster told Forbes that Lawler will help to lead Cyanogen's efforts to develop a set of mobile services both internally and with partners and that Iywer will help broaden the appeal of Cyanogen's software with more device makers. "When we are able to attract people like that to the team, it's invigorating," McMaster said. "Other people tend to follow. It's good for the company. It shows people we can deliver on the promise." 

Cyanogen offers wireless carriers, smartphone manufacturers and third-party app developers the ability to deeply integrate their services into the Cyanogen OS--and to share in any resulting app installs or sale of software and services to users. The company received $80 million in new funding in March. Article