BlackBerry extends John Chen’s contract to 2023

BlackBerry Ltd. is betting on CEO John Chen for the long run.

The two announced an agreement to extend Chen’s leadership of BlackBerry through November 2023, the company announced today.

BlackBerry has “tremendous” confidence in Chen, said Prem Watsa, lead director and chair of the compensation, nomination and governance committee of the BlackBerry board.

“John engineered a successful turnaround and has the company repositioned to apply its strengths and assets to the Enterprise of Things, an emerging category with massive potential,” he said.

Chen, who joined BlackBerry in November 2013, won’t see his base salary or his benefits change, the company explained, and his five-year extension is weighted towards long-term performance-based equity and cash awards and time-based equity awards.

Since taking the lead at BlackBerry, Chen has helped the company shed its hardware manufacturing business and focus more on cybersecurity and software. BlackBerry’s record software and services revenue of $199 million (all figures USD) represented 85 per cent of BlackBerry’s total company revenue, according to the the company’s third-quarter 2018 earnings report.

Chen has also placed a much greater emphasis on BlackBerry’s channel partners. During his keynote at BlackBerry’s fourth annual Security Summit in New York City last year, Chen said expanding the channel is a top priority for the company.

“BlackBerry is focusing on the channel, and we’re making partners, whether go-to-market, value-added, system integrated partners, or anything in between, a priority,” he said at the event.

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Alex Coop
Alex Coop
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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