John Chen is Executive Chairman of BlackBerry’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer.
John is 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 started his career as an engineer at Burroughs Corp. in 1979, where he progressed to General Manager of the UNIX Group following a merger that renamed the company Unisys. John went on to become President of Pyramid Technology, where he served from 1991-1995, before they were acquired by Siemens Nixdorf and he was offered the position of Executive Board Member, which he held from 1995-1997.
He has testified before Congress on U.S.–China trade relations. In 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush appointed him 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). John is actively involved in international relations. He has been a member of the Committee of 100 since 1997 and was Chairman from 2009-2011, with the dedicated mission of furthering U.S.-China relations.
In recognition of his leadership in building U.S.-Asia relations, John has received awards from the US-Asia Institute, the U.S.-China Policy Foundation, and the California-Asia Business Council. For his corporate board work, he has been honored by the U.S.-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.
John 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. 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 serves on the Board of Directors for The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo & Co. 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.