Board of Directors
John Chen is Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry and Executive Chair of the Company’s Board of Directors.
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 Lead Director of the Company since November 2013 and previously served as a director of the Company from January 2012 to August 2013. 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, a subsidiary of Fairfax. Prior to joining Fairfax, he held various positions with Confederation Life Insurance Company and GW Asset Management. In addition, 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.
Mr. Daniels, 68, has served as a director of the Company since October 2014.
Mr. Daniels currently serves as a Director of Mercury Systems and CACI International and as Chairman of Invincea. Mr. Daniels also currently serves as a director of the Northern Virginia Technology Council, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and as Chairman of the Logistics Management Institute. He also leads the National Advisory Board of the American Enterprise Institute Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy. Mr. Daniels previously held various senior management positions at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from 1986-2004. While at SAIC Mr. Daniels identified and acquired Network Solutions and served as Chairman from 1995 until 2000 when the company was acquired by VeriSign. Mr. Daniels was Chairman and CEO of Mobile 365 from 2005 until the sale of the company to Sybase in 2006. He then served as a director of Sybase from 2007 to 2010. He has also served as Chairman of GlobalLogic and as a director of VeriSign, Apogen Technologies and Telcordia Technologies.
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.
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.
Dr. Smaldone Alsup, 61, has served as a director of the Company since June 2015. She has a BA from Fordham College and an MD from Yale University, where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Medical Oncology. Dr. Smaldone Alsup is President and Chief Scientific Officer of PharmApprove, a pharmaceutical strategic regulatory and scientific communications firm, and serves as a director of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals. She was previously Chief Executive Officer of Phytomedics, prior to which she held clinical and regulatory leadership roles at Bristol Myers Squibb, including Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Science and Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Risk Management. Dr. Smaldone Alsup has also served with numerous professional and charitable organizations including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Conference Board Strategic Risk Management Council and the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey.
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.