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John Chen was appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chair of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors on November 4, 2013.
John is a distinguished and proven leader in the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, he served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc., where he developed and led the company’s re-invention from a mature, slower-growth technology company into a $1.5 billion-plus high-growth innovator. Under his direction, Sybase became the leading provider of enterprise mobility and mobile commerce solutions, achieving 55 consecutive quarters of profitability.
John previously held a series of executive positions at Siemens AG, Pyramid Technology Corp., and Burroughs Corp. He started his career as a design engineer with Unisys Corp.
John is actively involved in international relations. He has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations. In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush appointed him 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).
In recognition of his leadership in building U.S.-Asia relations, John has received awards from the US-Asia Institute, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, and the California-Asia Business Council. For his corporate board work, he has been honored by the U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.
John graduated from Brown University magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and holds a master's in electrical engineering from California Institute of Technology. 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 serves on the board of directors for The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo & Co. He is also active in the not-for-profit community, and is also a trustee of Caltech, board member of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, member of CFR, national trustee of The First Tee and Governor of the San Francisco Symphony.
Mr. Watsa, 63, has served as a director of the Company since January 2012. He has a Bachelors Degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India and obtained his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He is also a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Mr. Watsa is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax”). He is also Vice President of Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel, Chairman of Odyssey Re, Crum & Forster and Northbridge Financial Corporation, and a director of Zenith National (all subsidiaries of Fairfax). Prior to joining Fairfax, he held various positions with Confederation Life Insurance Company and GW Asset Management. In addition to the public boards indicated below, Mr. Watsa is a member of the board of trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board for the Richard Ivey School of Business, a member of the board of directors of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto.
Ms. Stymiest, 56, has served as a director of the Company since March 2007 and has been the Chair of Board of the Company since January 2012. She has an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and a FCA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. Ms. Stymiest is currently a corporate director. From 2004 to 2011, Ms. Stymiest was a member of the Group Executive of the Royal Bank of Canada which is responsible for the Bank’s overall strategic direction. Prior to that, she held positions as Chief Executive Officer at TSX Group Inc., Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer at BMO Nesbitt Burns and Partner of Ernst & Young LLP. Ms. Stymiest is currently a Director of George Weston Limited, Sun Life Financial Inc., University Health Network and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. She has also served on a number of professional and charitable organizations including the Canadian Institute for Chartered Accountants’ Accounting Oversight Committee, United Way Campaign Cabinet and Hincks-Dellcrest Children’s Centre.
Mr. Dattels, 53, has served as a director of the Company since July 2012. He has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. (Honors) from the University of Western Ontario. Mr. Dattels is a Senior Partner of TPG Capital, LP. Prior to joining TPG, Mr. Dattels served as a Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs and was head of Investment Banking for all Asian countries other than Japan. In addition to the public Board memberships listed below, Mr. Dattels is a Trustee of the San Francisco Ballet, San Francisco Jazz and the World Affairs Council.
Ms. Kotchka, 60, has served as a director of the company since July 2011. She has a B.B.A., Cum Laude, from Ohio University and is a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. Kotchka is an independent consultant to Fortune 500 companies on innovation, strategy and design. She is also a speaker at conferences and forums on design and innovation and has been a guest lecturer at business schools and universities including Stanford University, Syracuse University, the University of Miami, and Wake Forest University. Prior to her retirement from Procter and Gamble, Inc. in 2009, she held various executive roles of increasing responsibility during her 31 year career at Procter & Gamble, including Vice President, Design Innovation & Strategy from 2001 to 2009; Vice President, eBusiness Ventures in 2000; Vice President, Marketing, Global Feminine Care from 1999 to 2000; and Vice President, Design & Marketing Knowledge, P&G Worldwide from 1997 to 1999. Ms. Kotchka is a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Smithsonian Design Museum and an Advisor with Stanford University Institute of Design. She has also served on a number of charitable organizations including as a member of the United Way Women’s Leadership Council, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Audubon Society and Reading for Life.
Mr. Lynch, 64, has served as a director of the Company since February 2013. He has a Bachelor and Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute (now University of Massachusetts) and Post Graduate Executive education from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. Mr. Lynch is President of FB Associates, LLC, which provides advisory and consulting services at the intersection of technology, marketing and business operations. Prior to his current role, Mr. Lynch served as Executive Vice-President & Chief Technology Officer for Verizon Communications and the Executive Vice-President & Chief Technology Officer of Verizon Wireless. He is a Fellow of The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and currently serves as a Director of TranSwitch Corporation and Ruckus Wireless. Mr. Lynch has also served on a number of professional organizations including the GSM Association, the CDMA Development Group, the Federal Communications Commission Technical Advisory Committee and the Communications Security Reliability and Interoperability Council. Mr. Lynch has been honored with the President's Award by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association and has also been inducted into the Wireless History Foundation's Hall of Fame.
Mr. Nordberg, 56, has served as a director of the Company since February 2013. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Malmo Tekniska Laroverk in Sweden, received training as an Engineer in the Swedish Marines and attended International Management, Marketing and Finance courses at INSEAD University in France. From October 2009 to May 2012, Mr. Nordberg served as President & CEO of Sony Ericsson and from May 2012 to December 2012, he served as Chairman of Sony Mobile. Prior to that, Mr. Nordberg held various executive roles with Ericsson since 1996. Mr. Nordberg currently serves as Chairman of Vestas Wind Systems A/S and is a Director of Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget (SCA) and AB Electrolux. He serves as a representative for the Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Southern Sweden and as a member of the Hewlett Packard Communications, Media & Entertainment Board of Industry Advisors.