Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!


In 1984, in a room above a bagel shop in Waterloo Canada, Research In Motion (RIM) was founded. Gaining worldwide success for developing the BlackBerry smartphone, famous for its blinking red light, QWERTY keyboard and leading security, RIM became Canada’s top technology company. Known today as BlackBerry, we are defining a new market category called the Enterprise of Things (EoT) and delivering market-leading innovations in the security and connectivity of ‘Things’.

Over the last 30+ years our pride in being a Canadian company has been steadfast and strong. BlackBerry has grown to become a global company and remains faithfully headquartered in Waterloo. Our successes, past, present and future, would not have been and will not be possible without the support of Canada.

The Canadian government has been a staunch partner of BlackBerry, for which I am extremely grateful. Most recently Prime Minister Trudeau joined me in Ottawa to launch our Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Center (AVIC); an important program for Canada’s innovation agenda and for BlackBerry’s continued market leadership.

The talent in the country is some of the world’s best. We work closely with Universities in Canada on coop and employment programs, helping the community and giving the company a tremendous competitive edge in the global marketplace.

The loyalty and passion of enterprises across the country, for BlackBerry as a fellow Canadian business, is also notable.

I am honored to be at the helm of such an iconic Canadian company. BlackBerry’s Canadian heritage is as important as its Canadian future. I am committed to investing in the country and am pleased we are its third-highest R&D spender.

I would like to say thank you to all Canadians for your continued support and wish you a very happy 150th birthday. BlackBerry will be supporting Canada 150 celebrations hosted by the Canadian Embassies in Tel Aviv, London, Jakarta, and Singapore. Also watch our Twitter handle @BlackBerry as we tweet out some of our favorite examples of #CanadianInnovation over the next few weeks until July 1st.

I am excited to see and be a part of how Canada continues to inspire its citizens and people around the world.

Here’s to the next 150 years!

Warm wishes,

John Chen

Executive Chairman & CEO BlackBerry

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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