Board of Directors
John Chen, 61, is Executive Chairman of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Company.
John is a distinguished and proven leader in the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, he& served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. from 1998 to 2012, 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 started his career as an engineer at Burroughs Corp. in 1979, where he progressed to General Manager of the UNIX Group following a merger that renamed the company Unisys. John went on to become President of Pyramid Technology, where he served from 1991-1995, before they were acquired by Siemens Nixdorf and he was offered the position of Executive Board Member, which he held from 1995-1997.
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). John is actively involved in international relations. He has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and was Chairman from 2009-2011, with the dedicated mission of furthering U.S.-China relations.
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 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, 66, has served as Lead Director of the Company and Chair of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors since November 2013, and previously served as a director of the Company from January 2012 to August 2013. He has a bachelor’s 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 Western University. 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 the Chairman of Fairfax India Holdings Corporation and Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation. Mr. Watsa 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, 70, has served as a director of the Company since October 2014 and is a member of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. 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, 58, has served as a director of the Company since July 2012 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA (Honors) from Western University. 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. Mr. Dattels serves or has served on the boards of directors of Shangri-La Asia, Sing Tao News Corporation, Primedia and Parkway Holdings, and is a member of Northstar Equity Partners’ investment committee.
Mr. Lynch, 68, has served as a director of the Company since February 2013 and is a member of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees 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 Life Fellow of The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and currently serves as Chairman of Sonus Networks. Mr. Lynch is a former director of TranSwitch Corporation and Ruckus Wireless, and 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.
Laurie Smaldone Alsup
Dr. Smaldone Alsup, 63, has served as a director of the Company since June 2015 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors. 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 Chief Operating Officer and Chief Scientific Officer of NDA Group AB, a leading drug development consulting company, which merged in 2016 with PharmApprove, where Dr. Smaldone Alsup was President and Chief Scientific Officer. 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 is also a former director of KaloBios Pharmaceuticals and has 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, 60, has served as a director of the Company since March 2007 and has been the Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors since November 2013. Ms. Stymiest is also a member of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. She has an HBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University 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. and the University Health Network, and is Chair of 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. Wouters, 66, has served as a director of the Company since October 2015 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors. Mr. Wouters has an honours bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University. He is a Strategic and Policy Advisor to McCarthy Tétrault LLP and serves as a director of Champion Iron Limited and as a member of the Board of Trustees of United Way Worldwide. From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Wouters was the Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada and, in that capacity, held the roles of Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service. Prior to his tenure as Clerk, Mr. Wouters was Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada and served in deputy ministerial and other senior positions in the Canadian public service. Mr. Wouters has received numerous awards, including Honorary Doctorates of Laws from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the André Mailhot Award for lifetime achievement from the United Way Canada. He was inducted by the Prime Minister as a member of the Privy Council in 2014.