Ever heard of Edmund John Philip Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley? Better known as Lord Brown, this Brit headed British Petroleum from 1995 and 2007. Nicknamed “The Sun King” for his management style, Lord Browne is one of the rare business leaders who is publicly out (though he is a Brit, so it’s all rather discreet).
He recently spoke about why it’s so important to have openly out business leaders: “We need more of those role models; more people to come out; more people to be successful and gay; and more people to be openly gay. Role models are the most important things in business, and it is interesting to look that of the top 500 companies in the world, there is only one openly gay CEO, and that’s Tim Cook of Apple”
“So there are 499 that aren’t, but you would expect statistically that 5% of that 500 would probably be gay, so there probably are 25 CEOs that are gay, but they’re not out.”
“That says to people ‘be careful’, there aren’t that many people who are gay and out. It’s getting better and maybe time will cure this, but people are impatient and it needs to be speeded up.”