Coding the Future
When he took over as BlackBerry CEO in 2013, the Waterloo, Ont.-based company was best known for ceding to competitors the smartphone market it once dominated.
Today, under John Chen’s leadership and with the help of the QNX software division acquired in 2010, BlackBerry is making a name as a top provider of automotive-security software, a segment with near boundless upside. It has partnerships with Jaguar and Hyundai and Tier 1 suppliers including Denso and Bosch, and its QNX coding runs dashboard systems in 150 million cars worldwide.
BlackBerry declared a $42-million net loss in its last quarter and still has many market doubters. But Chen, 64, is focused on a future of autonomous cars and other connected devices, all with a need for industrial-grade secure software. As he told BNN Bloomberg in 2018, “We are just right at the beginning of this potential market.”