LGBTQ Chief Executive Officers of Business Enterprises

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History was made in 2014 when Tim Cook, the Chief Executive Officer of Apple Inc, publicly announced that he was gay. He is the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to openly declare himself a member of the LGBTQ community. Tim Cook's venerable global profile ensured that his announcement became news around the world. This represented a major step forward in the both the visibility of the LGBTQ community and its fight for equality. His announcement filled a gap that existed in the advancement of LGBTQ rights around the world - the lack of an active LGBTQ business leader.

It is important to have prominent LGBTQ individuals in the business community. These individuals represent the public face of their corporations. As such, the CEOs represent the company's employees, many of whom also identify as LGBTQ - having an out CEO shows their inclusion in the organization. It also shows that one's sexual preference is not a barrier to either promotion or the ability to successfully manage a business enterprise. The confidence for a CEO to be comfortable with his/her sexual preference reveals the honesty of the individual, thereby reflecting the values inherent in the company's culture. Public disclosure shows leadership by example, an important trait in motivating others within a company.

The presence of LGBTQ Chief Executive Officers in business enterprises helps to advance the efforts for global human rights. These business enterprises operate differently from government organizations and non-profits through extensive networks of suppliers and customers. By having visible LGBTQ leadership in the organization they are sending a message to those partners that being a member of a minority group does not impair the economic functioning of the relationship that has been established.

There are many more current and past Chief Executive Officers of business companies around the world who identify as LGBTQ. These leaders represent industries such as media, technology, fashion, communications, sports, biotechnology, consulting, publishing,, finance, hospitality, manufacturing, and more. The CEOs come from Canada, Austria, Great Britain, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Australia and the United States.


  • Hernan Lopez, Fox International, Fox Latin American Channels







  • Eva Kreienkamp, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe AöR (BVG, Berlin's transportation network)

Great Britain







The Netherlands

United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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