Former BP boss calls on gay CEOs to come out

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Former BP chief executive Lord Browne has called on more gay CEOs to be open about their sexuality.

In an interview with CNBC’s power lunch, Browne called on gay CEOs to declare their sexuality to “give people role models to say its ok to come out”.

The former BP CEO said he regretted keeping his sexuality hidden from his colleagues.

“It meant I had to have two different lives. A public life and a private life. And I tried to make sure they never met. And that was quite exhausting,” he said.

“Now it’s very different. Then it probably would have been very damaging to come out.”

Browne kept his sexuality hidden from public knowledge, until an ex-boyfriend outed him.

The crossbench Peer now suggests he could have led BP “in a very different way” had he been open about his sexuality.

The CEO of BP from 1995 to 2007, Browne said he he wrote his book ‘The Glass Closet: Why coming out is good for business’ to address the small number of openly gay CEOs.

In the book Lord Browne warns: “The double life I lead should not be seen as a workable blueprint for a business career. It should be seen as a cautionary tail.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook topped Out Magazine’s power list three years in a row between 2011 and 2013, despite not having come out publicly.