Most Powerful People

Canada’s Most Powerful Business People 2016: #27 — John Chen

Gave us a reason to root for BlackBerry

John Chen, CEO, BlackBerry
(Adek Berry/AFP/Getty)

#27: John Chen

CEO, BlackBerry

Why he matters: Gave us a reason to root for BlackBerry

@JohnChen 11,900 followers

The smartphone company is not the titan it once was, but it serves as an emblem of how groundbreaking Canadian firms can be. John Chen is rallying support to restore it to greatness, and he has a knack for attracting top talent. In July, he hired former Cisco senior vice-president Carl Wiese (also a management guru) for the top sales job. Chen isn’t pulling any punches, either. After announcing the Android-powered Priv handset, he remarked that, “We could keep the pride and then die hungry, or we can eat well and be not so proud. I chose to eat well.” Pragmatism is just what BlackBerry needs.

More of Canada’s Most Powerful Business People:

▲ #26 Dave Mowat
▼ #28 Frank McKenna