Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!

CORPORATE / 06.14.17 / John Chen

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

John Chen

About John Chen

As Executive Chairman and CEO of BlackBerry Limited, John Chen is responsible for defining the company’s vision and goals, setting its strategy, and ensuring the team’s execution matches corporate objectives. Appointed in November 2013, John has led BlackBerry through a successful pivot from hardware icon to software leader. Today the company is poised to leverage its brand strength and heritage in mobile security along with its enterprise cybersecurity and embedded software growth engines to accelerate into the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with billions of connected devices and massive market potential.

John has more than 30 years of engineering and management experience including serving as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. along with executive roles at Siemens Nixdorf, Pyramid Technology Corp., Unisys, and Burroughs Corp.

John graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In addition to BlackBerry, John serves on the board of directors for The Walt Disney Company in addition to several non-profits and previously served on the board of directors for Wells Fargo, CIT Group Inc.,, Niku Corporation, Wafer Technology, and Turbolinux.