BlackBerry announced CEO John Chen (pictured) is to step down on 4 November after a decade-long tenure during which he oversaw a shift from devices to software, with board member Richard Lynch set to take over on an interim basis. 

The company stated Chen’s retirement aligns with the terms of his contract and marks the completion of its Project Imperium strategy, which involves a shake-up of its business.

BlackBerry recently moved to split its IoT division from its cybersecurity business, with the former expected to run independently as a new entity. 

Lynch joined the board in 2013.

Following years of struggles and a failure to compete with Android smartphones and Apple iPhones, BlackBerry abandoned the hardware business in 2016.

It then struck a licensing deal with China-based device maker TCL Communication and sold its mobile-related patents and assets to different companies, including Huawei

Prem Watsa, lead director of the board, said Chen’s achievement “of saving BlackBerry and repositioning it as a software company with leading cybersecurity and IoT technologies has been remarkable”.