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A Fond Farewell to BBM Consumer Service—And a Look Ahead to BBMe

CORPORATE / 06.04.19 / John Chen

This past Friday we bid farewell to BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) consumer service. But rather than look at this as “the end of an era,” we’re choosing to celebrate and fondly remember BBM consumer while looking forward to our exciting next phase.

First, I want to join all of our faithful BBM consumer users in expressing that I too am sad to see it go. The outpouring of posts on social media lamenting BBM consumer speaks to the powerful nostalgia and experience our company was able to craft. Personally, I will miss using separate channels with friends and family and fun features like stickers and emojis to interact with them. What I’ll always treasure, though, are the experiences, relationships and conversations made possible by our BBM consumer service and platform.

This closing chapter on BBM consumer does not mean the end of BlackBerry Messenger’s story. In fact, it’s just the opposite. We’re excited to offer our BBM Enterprise (BBMe) encrypted chat service to all individual users. With BBMe, our loyal BlackBerry Messenger users now have robust end-to-end encryption at their fingertips. As an enterprise-grade messaging platform, users who adopt BBMe will have the reliable text-based communication of BBM’s consumer service with greater levels of security and privacy built in.  

The incredible reaction our users have shown speaks to the history of BBM. But I’m equally as excited about BBMe becoming a trusted and secure messaging app for all. BBMe is already trusted by governments and major corporations around the world.  These organizations know that the need for privacy and security are paramount.  Whether you are a head of state, head of a bank, or head of your child’s sports team, know that BlackBerry will never monetize your data.  We will always ensure your data is yours, you control it, and its secure and private.  I hope you enjoy using BBMe.


John Chen

About John Chen

John Chen is Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry. Appointed in November 2013, John led BlackBerry’s turnaround stabilizing the company’s financial position, ensuring its viability, and pivoting its operations from consumer hardware to enterprise software. Today the company takes advantage of the current growth opportunities in IoT and Cybersecurity and is pioneering the convergence of these two markets.

John is a distinguished business leader and proven turnaround executive with over 40 years of engineering and management experience. Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc. where he re-invented the company and achieved 55 consecutive quarters of profitability during his 15-year tenure.

Recognized as a thought leader and as a respected voice in foreign 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 since 2012, 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) and as a trustee of Caltech (2008-2022). John is an Advisory Board member of the US Chamber China Center. He is also active in the not-for-profit community, and is a 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.