The stock app is not bad, though it does not thread and is not as pretty as the Kitkat stock. Of course, the Kitkat stock does not work with Exchange, courtesy of Google dragging their feet for at least six months. There are some rumors that the problems have been fixed in the recent releases of ASOP and Cyanogen, but I have not confirmed that.
As for a password, you have an easy solution - install the XPosed Framework and then add the module "Complete keyguard disabler". Presto, keyguard lock gone. You need to be rooted for this. You can even install a module to hide the fact that you are rooted from your company's administrators, should they be so anal as to check for that.