Charles Eagan, Chief Technology Officer at BlackBerry

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Additional Info

Job title of nominated professional (or team name)Chief Technoloy Officer
Company (where nominated professional or team is working)BlackBerry
Websitehttps://www.BlackBerry.com
Company size (employees)1,000 to 4,999
Headquarters RegionSouth America

In 3 bullets, summarize why this professional or team deserves recognition:

• Helped spearhead the creation of BlackBerry Advanced Technology Development Labs, a new and very innovative and strategic business unit operating at the forefront of research and development in the cybersecurity space; designed to ensure BlackBerry is on the cutting edge of security innovation.
• Successfully integrated BlackBerry Cylance’s AI and ML technologies with BlackBerry QNX’s, creating a solution that OEMs and commercial fleets can use to enhance the overall safety and security of their vehicles.
• Oversaw a comprehensive security audit of the Government of Canada’s recently released COVID Alert exposure notification app; a critical tool to aid the fight against COVID-19.

Brief Overview

As BlackBerry’s Chief Technology Officer, Charles is responsible for the advancement of new technologies, driving innovation within emerging markets and advancing security capabilities that leverage AI and Machine Learning. He is also responsible for technology partnerships and overseeing the standardization and integration of all company products with an emphasis on helping drive BlackBerry’s Internet of Things platform.

Charles was instrumental in the creation of BlackBerry Advanced Technology Development Labs (BlackBerry Labs), a new and very innovative and strategic business unit operating at the forefront of research and development in the cybersecurity space. Announced in September 2019 and led by Charles, BlackBerry Labs includes a team of over 120 software developers, architects, researchers, product leads and security experts, each working toward the common goal of identifying, exploring and creating new technologies to ensure BlackBerry is on the cutting edge of security innovation.

As an innovation accelerator, BlackBerry Advanced Technology Development Labs is an intentional investment into the future of the company. Charles handpicked the team to include experts in the embedded IoT space with diverse capabilities, including strong data science expertise. Notably, he’s been working to set up hardware labs in both Waterloo and Ottawa to be used by his team, creating spaces dedicated to specific areas of focus and testing. Overall, most of the investment has been made, but he’s still looking to build on this unit by partnering with six separate universities on active research and development. Charles is quite proud of these initiatives and thinks they will greatly benefit BlackBerry’s future roadmap.

Initially his team has been focusing on the importance of integrating Cylance’s (acquired in February 2019 for $1.4 billion) machine learning technology into BlackBerry’s product pipeline. However, it’s not just about creating an ecosystem of ML-based solutions, but rather smartly and strategically adopting ML into the work BlackBerry is accomplishing each day. His role is primarily helping to bridge the different teams and create this connectivity and cross-pollination between the various business units.

At CES, for instance, Charles’ team unveiled an AI-based transportation solution geared towards OEMs and commercial fleets. This solution provides a holistic view of the security and health of a vehicle and provides control over that security for a manufacturer or fleet manager. Born in BlackBerry Labs, the new offering marks the first time BlackBerry Cylance’s AI and ML technologies have been integrated with BlackBerry QNX solutions, which are currently powering upwards of 175 million vehicles on the road today.