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Blackberry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen Discusses the Company’s Future Plans at Dec. 16 Titans Series Event

On Dec. 16, members of the region's technology community gathered at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner for a Titans breakfast featuring BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen, who joined the company in November 2013. During a candid fireside chat with Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro, Chen discussed BlackBerry’s turnaround and future technological investments.

John Chen talks to Gary Shapiro.
BlackBerry Executive Chairman and CEO John Chen talks to Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro during the Dec. 16, 2015 Titans Series event at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.

Chen started off the event by introducing the company’s newest phone, Priv. The phone’s name reflects its emphasis on “privacy,” because it can tell the user which apps are collecting information from the device. Privacy and security are a major focus for BlackBerry, according to Chen. He discussed the company’s responsibility to contribute to the safety of the public when the company is ordered by law enforcement to track and/or turn over data. However, BlackBerry does not offer the government a backdoor to its technology or devices, Chen said, but only provides data when it deems absolutely necessary for public safety.

Gary Shapiro and John Chen.
Consumer Technology Association CEO Gary Shapiro asks Titans speaker BlackBerry CEO John Chen during their fireside chat at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner on Dec. 16, 2015..

Chen also discussed the future of the company. BlackBerry currently has 44,000 patents that he hopes the company will turn into useful technologies, including connected homes, cars and medical devices; enterprise software; and cybersecurity for these devices. Chen highlighted BlackBerry’s investments in the Internet of Things, including embedded systems in cars, which will require cyber components to protect against viruses and malicious intercepts.

Finally, during a Q&A with the audience, Chen discussed enterprise management, technology acquisition and the device market.