Skip Navigation

BlackBerry Board of Directors

John Chen

John Chen, 66, 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.



Prem Watsa

Mr. Watsa, 71, has served as Lead Director of the Company since November 2013 and is a member of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. He also previously served as a director of the Company from January 2012 to August 2013. Mr. Watsa has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India and obtained his MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. He is also a holder of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Mr. Watsa is currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (“Fairfax”). He is also the Chairman of Fairfax India Holdings Corporation, Fairfax’s publicly-traded subsidiary, and Vice Chairman of Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel, a subsidiary of Fairfax. He is also a co-founder and director of the BlackNorth Initiative. Prior to joining Fairfax, he held various positions with Confederation Life Insurance Company and GW Asset Management. In addition, Mr. Watsa is a member of the board of trustees of the Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, a member of the Advisory Board for the Richard Ivey School of Business, a member of the board of directors of the Royal Ontario Museum Foundation, and Chairman of the Investment Committee of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Toronto.



Mike Daniels

Mr. Daniels, 75, has served as a director of the Company since October 2014 and is Chair of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. Mr. Daniels currently serves as Chairman of CACI International and as a director of Two Six Technologies. Mr. Daniels also currently serves as a director of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and the Virginia Chamber of Commerce. He also leads the National Advisory Board of the American Enterprise Institute Center for Internet, Communications and Technology Policy. Mr. Daniels previously held various senior management positions at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from 1986 to 2004. While at SAIC, Mr. Daniels identified and acquired Network Solutions and served as Chairman from 1995 until 2000 when the company was acquired by VeriSign. Mr. Daniels was Chairman and CEO of Mobile 365 from 2005 until the sale of the company to Sybase in 2006. He then served as a director of Sybase from 2007 to 2010. He has also served as Chairman of GlobalLogic, Invincea and the Logistics Management Institute and as a director of VeriSign, Apogen Technologies and Telcordia Technologies.



Lisa Disbrow

Ms. Disbrow, 60, has served as a director of the Company since August 2019 and as Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee since September 2021. She has a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA from The George Washington University and an MS from The National War College in National Strategy. Ms. Disbrow currently serves on the President’s Export Council and is a Commissioner on the Congressional Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution Reform Commission. She is also the Chair of the NobleReach Foundation, as well as a director of CACI International Inc, Mercury Systems, Inc., and SparkCognition, Inc. In addition, Ms. Disbrow is as a Senior Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, the Vice Chair of the National Defense Industrial Association, and a director of the Wounded Warrior Project. Previously, she served as the Senate-confirmed Under Secretary of the United States Air Force. Ms. Disbrow also served as Acting Secretary of the Air Force and was the Senate-confirmed chief financial officer of the Air Force, as the Assistant Secretary for Financial Management and Comptroller. She retired from the Air Force in 2008 as a colonel after 23 years of active and reserve duty.



Richard Lynch

Mr. Lynch, 73, has served as a director of the Company since February 2013 and is a member of the Compensation, Nomination and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lowell Technological Institute (now University of Massachusetts) and post-graduate executive education from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University. Mr. Lynch is President of FB Associates, LLC, which provides advisory and consulting services at the intersection of technology, marketing and business operations. Prior to his current role, Mr. Lynch served as Executive Vice-President & Chief Technology Officer for Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless. He is a Life Fellow of The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and currently serves as a director of VectoIQ Acquisition Corp. II, iconectiv and Cohere Technologies.  Mr. Lynch previously served as Chairman of Ribbon Communications and as a director of Ruckus Wireless.  He has also served on a number of professional organizations including the GSM Association, the CDMA Development Group, the Federal Communications Commission Technical Advisory Committee and the Communications Security Reliability and Interoperability Council. Mr. Lynch has been honored with the President's Award by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association and has also been inducted into the Wireless History Foundation's Hall of Fame.



Laurie Smaldone Alsup

Dr. Smaldone Alsup, 67, has served as a director of the Company since June 2015 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors. She has a BA from Fordham College and an MD from Yale University, where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Medical Oncology. Dr. Smaldone Alsup is SVP Regulatory of NDA Group, a leading drug development consulting company, which was acquired in 2023 by SSI Strategy.  She previously served as President and Chief Scientific Officer of PharmApprove and as Chief Executive Officer of Phytomedics, prior to which she held clinical and regulatory leadership roles at Bristol Myers Squibb, including Senior Vice President of Global Regulatory Science and Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Business Risk Management.  Dr. Smaldone Alsup is a director of Theravance Biopharma, Inc., Arvinas, Inc. and Kinnate Biopharma Inc., and previously served as a director of Pardes Biosciences, Inc. and Kalobios Pharmaceuticals, Inc.  She has also served with numerous professional and charitable organizations including the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Conference Board Strategic Risk Management Council and the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey.



Wayne Wouters

Mr. Wouters, 70, has served as a director of the Company since October 2015 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee of the Board of Directors. Mr. Wouters has an honours bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a master’s degree in economics from Queen’s University. He is currently Strategic and Policy Advisor to McCarthy Tétrault LLP and a director of Champion Iron Limited, Canadian Utilities Limited and Foran Mining Corporation. From 2009 to 2014, Mr. Wouters was the Clerk of the Privy Council of Canada and, in that capacity, held the roles of Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister, Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Public Service. Prior to his tenure as Clerk, Mr. Wouters was Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada and served in deputy ministerial and other senior positions in the Canadian public service. Mr. Wouters has received numerous awards, including Honorary Doctorates of Laws from the Universities of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and the André Mailhot Award for lifetime achievement from the United Way Canada. He was inducted by the Prime Minister as a member of the Privy Council in 2014 and was invested into the Order of Canada as an officer in 2017.