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BlackBerry: The Heart of Connectivity
Topic Description: Hyperconnectivity demands ultra security, making BlackBerry the driving force of the Internet of Everything. Since its founding in 1984, BlackBerry has been at the forefront of innovations in mobility, real time communications, security and data privacy. As the number of connected Things grows, the demand for BlackBerry grade solutions expands in parallel.
John Chen, in conversation with Amber Kanwar, discusses BlackBerry’s innovation journey and his vision for a seamlessly hyperconnected world.
John Chen as Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited, is responsible for defining the company’s vision and goals, setting its strategy, and ensuring the team’s execution matches corporate objectives. John was appointed by the BlackBerry board of directors in November 2013. Under John’s leadership, BlackBerry has achieved financial stability and built growth engines in enterprise cybersecurity and embedded software which re position the company to apply its strengths and assets to the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with massive potential.
John came to BlackBerry a distinguished leader and proven turnaround executive with more than 30 years of engineering and management experience along with a reputation that extends well beyond the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. where he re invented the company and led it through 55 consecutive quarters of profitability, providing outstanding shareholder returns during his 15 year tenure.
A global business leader with a strong interest in policy, John has testified before Congress on U.S. China trade relations and was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Export Council. In 2006, he was appointed co chair of the Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee. Additionally, John chaired the U.S. China Policy Advisory Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies ,CSIS, and has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and was its Chairman from 2009 to 2011.
John graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Caltech. John has an honorary professorship from Shanghai University, and honorary doctorates from San Jose State University, City University of Hong Kong, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. John has received awards from the U.S. Asia Institute, the U.S. China Policy Foundation, the California Asia Business Council, and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.
In addition to BlackBerry, John serves on the board of directors for The Walt Disney Company and the National Committee on U.S. China Relations, the board of trustees of Caltech, the board of national trustees of The First Tee, and the board of governors of the San Francisco Symphony. John has previously served on the New York Stock Exchange’s listing advisory committee and the board of directors for Wells Fargo, CIT Group Inc., Beyond.com, Niku Corporation, Wafer Technology, and Turbolinux.
Amber Kanwar is an expert when it comes to financial markets and disruptive technologies. As the successful host of Business News Network’s flagship morning show, Business Day AM, and co host of CTV’s The Disruptors, she has interviewed everyone from CEOs of major companies, to start up technology entrepreneurs, fund managers, politicians, and thought leaders.
Amber is a relentless digger, always looking for ways to break down complex topics and ideas and making them accessible to anyone who is interested. Amber has a Master of Journalism degree from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies degree from University of Western Ontario.