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BlackBerry Executive Team

John Chen

Chief Executive Officer

John Chen is Chief Executive Officer of BlackBerry and Executive Chair of the Company’s Board of Directors.

John is a distinguished and proven leader in the technology industry. Prior to joining BlackBerry, he served as Chairman and CEO of Sybase Inc., 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 previously held a series of executive positions at Siemens AG, Pyramid Technology Corp., and Burroughs Corp. He started his career as a design engineer with Unisys Corp.

John is actively involved in international relations. 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).

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 also 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.

Marty Beard

Chief Operating Officer, BlackBerry

Marty is responsible for leading cross-functional operations, including Marketing, BlackBerry 10 Application Development, Customer Care and Quality. He is also responsible for instituting best practices and processes across the organization to ensure operational excellence.

Marty previously served as Chairman and CEO of LiveOps, Inc., a leading provider of cloud applications for customer service. Under his leadership, LiveOps leveraged the cloud, mobile and social interactions to improve customer service interactions for its enterprise customers. Prior to joining LiveOps, Marty was President of Sybase 365 (a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc.), a mobile messaging and mobile commerce services unit, and held a series of executive positions including SVP of corporate development & marketing. Prior to Sybase, Marty worked at Oracle as Vice President of Oracle Online, its e-Commerce service unit.

Marty holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Georgetown University.

Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu

President, BlackBerry Technology Solutions

Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu is the President of BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS). In this role, he manages and drives the strategic direction of BlackBerry’s innovative technology assets, including QNX Software Systems (embedded software), Certicom (cryptography applications) and Paratek (RF antenna tuning). Sandeep also manages the company’s extensive patent portfolio and Internet of Things strategy.

Over the past 25 years, Sandeep has been engaged in research, product development, IP creation/licensing and general management in the wireless, electronics and semiconductor industry.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Sandeep was the President of PMP LLC & RSI Consulting LLC, offering restructuring, strategic growth and innovation consultation to multinational clients. He has previously served as Senior Advisor at Sony Corporation of America, Chief Development Officer of Freescale Semiconductor and General Manager of Freescale’s Wireless Business group, respectively. Sandeep was also President of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and Chief Technology Officer of Sony-Ericsson and Ericsson Mobile Phones. Sandeep started his career in research and development at General Electric (GE).

Sandeep holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Industrial Management from the Indian Institute of Science. He is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow and is a named inventor on 73 patents.

Dan Dodge

Cofounder, Chief Executive Officer, QNX Software Systems

Dan has built a global reputation as a technology visionary. A pioneer in the embedded systems industry, he has created software that controls everything from car infotainment systems and smartphones to nuclear power plants and medical devices.  Dan has garnered various tributes, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and the prestigious J.W. Graham medal in Computing and Innovation from the University of Waterloo. Dan is a passionate advocate of software standards and was a founding steward of the Eclipse consortium, an open-source software initiative.

Dan holds a Master's degree in mathematics from the University of Waterloo.

Billy Ho

Executive Vice President, Enterprise Engineering

Billy leads the Enterprise Product Management and Software organizations.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Billy served as Senior Vice President of Product & Technology Operations at Sybase, Inc where he was responsible for Sybase technology research, product development and customer support. He held many other leadership positions within Sybase, including General Manager of the OEM Business Unit, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the e-Business Division, and Vice President of the Product Development, Enterprise Solutions Division. He has also been a Director of Engineering at Unisys and Siemens.

Billy earned a MS in Computer Science from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California and a BS in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Eric Johnson

President, Global Sales

Eric oversees the sales and financial performance strategy for operations in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Prior to his current role, Eric most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager for SAP’s Global Database and Technology. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager of Platform and Analytics Sales for North America, also at SAP. In the years preceding, Eric served in several capacities at Sybase, including Senior Vice President and General Manager for North America, Senior Vice President and General Manager Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Senior Vice President and General Manager for Financial Services.

Eric holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ron Louks

President, Devices and Emerging Solutions

Ron is focused on BlackBerry’s long-term product roadmap, including hardware, software and design, as well as the Company’s joint development efforts. 

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Ron served as the Chief Executive Officer at The OpenNMS Group. Ron is a veteran industry executive who has held many leadership positions over several decades in the technology industry, including as the Chief Strategy Officer of HTC America Inc. and the Chief Technology Officer as well as VP Head of Technology and Research Americas at Sony Ericsson.

James Mackey

Executive Vice President, Corporate Development and Strategic Planning

Jim’s team sets the overall corporate strategy for BlackBerry and executes towards that vision by working collaboratively across the organization and through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and partnerships.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Jim served as Senior Vice President of Corporate Development at Open Text Corporation. Previous to Open Text, Jim was Head of Corporate Development at SAP, where he developed and led the company’s global merger and acquisitions group.  

Jim has a law degree, with a concentration on business law and mergers and acquisitions, and a B.S.A in Accounting, both from Villanova University.

John Sims

President, Global Enterprise Services

John is responsible for defining and executing the strategy for growing business within the Enterprise market through the creation of innovative software, messaging and service solutions.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, John served as President of SAP’s Mobile Services business and the Global Head of Telecom.  John has more than 20 years of experience with companies that supply mobile telecommunications products and services to wireless operators.    Before joining SAP, John held leadership positions at 724 Solutions, TANTAU Software, Intrado and Tandem Computers.  He previously served as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of CTIA.

John holds a Bachelor of Accountacy from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Nita White-Ivy

Executive Vice President, Human Resources

Nita is responsible for leading the HR team to design and deliver global programs, initiatives, partnerships, solutions and services in all facets of HR to support the achievement of the company’s operational goals and strategic objectives.

Before joining BlackBerry, Nita served as Chief People Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer for SAP Cloud and SuccessFactors. Prior to that, she was Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources for Sybase, Inc. where she was responsible for providing and implementing high quality, state-of-the-art human resource and security services and programs for Sybase employees, management, executives and campuses worldwide.

Nita has an MBA from Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California and has also completed several courses towards an MA in Counseling Psychology from the same institution. She earned her BS in Business Administration with finance and accounting major with honors.

Mark Wilson

Senior Vice President, Marketing

Mark leads marketing and partner programs globally for BlackBerry. In this role Mark defines marketing strategy, branding and positioning and manages marketing and partner programs.

Prior to joining BlackBerry, Mark served as Chief Marketing Officer at Avaya. He previously served as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Field Marketing at Sybase, and held multiple leadership roles in KPMG Consulting and AT&T.

Mark holds an MBA and an MA in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago. He also has a BA in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

James Yersh

Chief Financial Officer

James is responsible for all aspects of the Company’s financial operations and investor relations.

James previously served as the Senior Vice President, Controller of BlackBerry. He was responsible for the Company’s consolidated and legal entity accounting, the external reporting function, insurance programs, as well as a number of aspects of management reporting and results analysis, and the consolidation of forecasts and plans.  James has more than 15 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications industries.  Prior to joining BlackBerry in 2008, he held various senior positions at Cognos Incorporated and Deloitte.

James holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Honours Accounting from the University of Ottawa.

Steven E. Zipperstein

Chief Legal Officer

Steve is responsible for worldwide legal, government relations, public policy, intellectual property litigation, compliance, regulatory, and corporate security.

Steve previously served as General Counsel for Verizon Wireless from 2003 through 2011. Prior to the formation of Verizon he served as Deputy General Counsel with corporate-wide responsibility for state regulatory, litigation and compliance matters for GTE Corporation. Before joining GTE/Verizon, Steve worked for almost 10 years with the United States Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor.

Steve is a graduate of UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and of U.C. Davis Law School with a juris doctorate, where he also served as Law Review Editor and Member of the Moot Court Board.