BlackBerry Statement on U.S. Immigration Ban

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Like many of you, I am disheartened and do not agree with the sharpness of President Trump’s executive order and immigration ban.

Many technology companies, both in the U.S. and in Canada, were founded by immigrants. At BlackBerry, more than half of the executive team and many of our employees – including myself – are immigrants, so we see firsthand every day the value and benefits of legal immigration. While there is a need to protect citizens, we must also preserve our strength in diversity.

In addition, President Trump has spoken of his desire to ease doing business globally, and this does not help in that regards. If this does not get resolved in a more compassionate manner, it will hurt trade, especially if the ban expands beyond these seven countries.

We hope that this new administration will find better ways to handle such matters in the future. I encourage everyone to continue to seek out and build diverse teams like we do at BlackBerry. Companies and the countries we live in will be better for this.

(Note: BlackBerry Chairman and CEO John Chen spoke earlier with BNN about these issues: http://www.bnn.ca/video/blackberry-ceo-on-trump-s-stance-on-immigration-it-will-hurt-trade~1046226)

About John Chen

John Chen is Executive Chairman of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer. A distinguished and proven leader in the technology industry, prior to joining BlackBerry, he served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. from 1997 for 15 years, 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 Nixdorf, Pyramid Technology Corp., Unisys and Burroughs Corp, where he started his career as an engineer. He 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. He is actively involved in international relations and has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations. John serves on the board of directors for The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo & Co. He is active in the not-for-profit community, and is also a trustee of Caltech, member of CFR, national trustee of The First Tee and Governor of the San Francisco Symphony.

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