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BlackBerry ThreatVector Blog

We’re Much More Than Cybersecurity

CORPORATE / 03.23.19 / John Chen

Yesterday The Financial Post ran a story that said, “BlackBerry is not seen as a pure cybersecurity company” and noted, “Canada’s cybersecurity sector will remain without a ‘homegrown’ champion.” I respectfully disagree with both points and would like to explain why.

BlackBerry has been focused on security for 35 years. From building the world’s most secure smartphone to securing some of the world’s most sensitive data and infrastructures – our technology has arguably changed the way people work and live for the better.

With the recent acquisition of Cylance, BlackBerry now has a billion-dollar cybersecurity software portfolio, but we’re not stopping there. Cylance’s machine learning and artificial intelligence technology is a strategic addition, as its embeddable AI technology will accelerate the development of BlackBerry Spark, the secure communications platform for the Internet of Things (IoT). The capabilities that BlackBerry Spark will provide is something that traditional and next-generation cybersecurity companies simply can’t offer.

It’s because of this, I understand why the industry doesn’t see us as a pure cybersecurity company. Our current and future products address a much larger market: securing the Internet of Things.

Ultimately, BlackBerry is a technology company that provides enterprises and governments with software to secure the IoT devices they use, the products they make, and the data that flows in and out of their network. We are able to do this because BlackBerry leads in key areas such as cybersecurity, endpoint management, encryption, embedded systems and data privacy.

As the world becomes more and more connected, with every ‘thing’ having its own IP address, BlackBerry’s role ensuring safety, security and data privacy will become much more important. So, to the writer who said, “Canada’s cybersecurity sector will remain without a champion,” I say you’re wrong.

BlackBerry is that champion, we’re just punching above our weight. 

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 came to BlackBerry a distinguished leader and proven turnaround executive with more than 40 years of engineering and management experience along with a reputation that extends well-beyond the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. where he re-invented the company and led it through 55 consecutive quarters of profitability, providing outstanding shareholder returns during his 15-year tenure.

A global business leader with a strong interest in policy, John has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations and was appointed by U.S. President George W. Bush 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), served on the Board of the National Committee on U.S. China Relations from 2012-2018, and has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and its Chairman from 2009-2011.

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). 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 has received awards from the U.S.-Asia Institute, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, the California-Asia Business Council, and the U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.

John served on the Board of Directors for The Walt Disney Company (2004-2019) and Wells Fargo & Co. (2006-2018). 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.