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John Chen to Retire as Executive Chair and CEO at Blackberry


John Chen will step down as executive chair and CEO of BlackBerry on Nov. 4. 

Richard Lynch, a current member of the BlackBerry board of director’s compensation, nomination and governance committee, will step in as interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement. 

“I’m proud to have been able to establish BlackBerry’s vision of a trusted, software-defined world and to position the company to unlock value through the separation of our core business units into two separate operating companies,” said Chen. 

Chen, a seasoned executive, joined BlackBerry in 2013. Under his leadership, the Waterloo, Canada-headquartered technology company rebranded itself from a smartphone manufacturer to a cybersecurity software and services provider. 

Meanwhile, Lynch has been a member of the BlackBerry board since 2013. He previously served as executive vice president and chief technology officer at Verizon Communications and Verizon Wireless.

The shift comes a month after the technology company announced that it would separate its cybersecurity and internet of things units and pursue a subsidiary initial public offering for the IoT business.

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