Corner Office: Six Powerful Out CEOs Who Aren’t Tim Cook

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 8.22.48 AMWe’re all happy that Tim Cook got his official gay card laminated recently, and of course we’re looking forward to seeing him at the next pot luck to plot world domination. Did I say that? I meant watch AHS. Jessica Lange is a goddess.

But while Cook may be the first openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he’s hardly the only power-wielding chief executive batting for our team.

Scroll down for six more, courtesy of CNN Money

1. Christopher Bailey, CEO at Burberry


The British luxury brand hired Bailey as CEO late last year after the previous chief executive Angela Ahrendts jumped ship for a job at Apple.

Bailey has been at Burberry since 2001, heading up product design, creative marketing and digital innovation. During Bailey’s time there, the brand has transformed into a fashion powerhouse with an eye on new media presence.

2. Nick Denton, founder and publisher of Gawker Media Group


Denton founded Gawker media in 2002, and over 12 years has built it into an empire that boasts tens of million of readers in search of news and gossip.

When Denton married Derrence Washington this summer, his wedding was covered in a big feature in the New York Times.

CNNMoney asked Gawker to confirm that Denton was gay, and Gawker editor-in-chief Max Read replied, “If Nick’s not gay, his husband will be very surprised to find out.”

3. Robert Greenblatt, chairman at NBC Entertainment


Greenblatt came on at NBCUniversal in early 2011 and now is in charge of primetime and late night programming for the network.

In his previous roles at other networks, he’s been credited for the success of major hit TV series including Weeds, Dexter and Six Feet Under.

4. John Browne, former CEO of BP


Browne led oil giant BP (BP) from 1995 until 2007. He resigned after a British newspaper group outed him as a gay man.

“I wish I had been braver to come out earlier during my tenure as CEO of BP. I regret it to this day,” he said.

He has since written a book called The Glass Closet to encourage other closeted, gay individuals to come forward and “bring their whole selves to work.”

But he warns that this will only happen when corporate leaders create an environment where people feel comfortable about coming out.

5. Robert Hanson, CEO at John Hardy


Hanson has been very upfront about being gay.

This summer he wrote an opinion piece for Time magazine entitled, “Yep, I’m Gay, and I’m a CEO—It Doesn’t Stop Me From Running a Great Business”.

Before starting his role at the jewelry company John Hardy, Hanson was CEO at American Eagle Outfitters (AEO). Prior to that, he served as global brand president at Levi’s.

“For as long as I have been in business and running companies, I’ve been an out gay man,” he wrote in his Time article.

6. Anthony Watson, chief information officer at Nike

Anthony Watson

Watson has spent most of his career working in the technology and banking industry, but he recently hopped over to join sportswear company Nike (NKE).

He makes it clear on his LinkedIn profile that he supports LGBT initiatives, and his new employer
Nike has also been vocal about supporting gay marriage.

Last year, Nike launched a campaign to promote gay marriage in Oregon, where its headquarters are based.

“We believe that diversity drives innovation and allows us to attract and retain world class talent,” said Nike in a statement last year. “For Oregon businesses to attract and retain the best talent, we need fair and equitable laws that treat all Oregonians equally and prevent discrimination.”

via CNN Money

Don't forget to share:

Help make sure LGBTQ+ stories are being told...

We can't rely on mainstream media to tell our stories. That's why we don't lock Queerty articles behind a paywall. Will you support our mission with a contribution today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated