The LGBTQ+ community has always been frowned upon. There have been many cases of workplace discrimination against members of this community.
Despite such odds, many members of the LGBTQ+ community have become successful business leaders. From being outcasts to being heralded as the leading businesspersons, the members of the LGBTQ+ community have come a long way.
Tim Cook, CEO – Apple
Time joined Apple in 1998 as Senior Vice President for Worldwide Operations. He was the COO when Steve Jobs handed over the reins to him in 2011. The current CEO of Apple is also on the Boards of Directors of the National Football Foundation and Nike Inc.
In 2014, he came out of that closet, becoming the first CEO of a Fortune 500 company to do so. Just as many millionaires and billionaires became richer, Facebook’s evaluation crossed the $2 billion mark, making Tim a billionaire in 2020. Despite this, he stays in a relatively modest house in Palo Alto, California.
Alan Joyce, CEO – Qantas
The Irish-born airline personality has previously held numerous positions for Irish Airlines and Aer Lingus. He has donated a million dollars towards a campaign to make people accept same-sex relationships. He was also named in the 2017 Queen’s birthday honours list as a Companion of the Order of Australia’s highest civil honour. He has been open about his sexuality all his life and has been in a same-sex relationship with Shane Lloyd since 1999.
Martine Rothblatt, CEO – United Therapeutics Corporation
The CEO of United Therapeutics is also an author and a lawyer. She was also CEO of GeoStar. She has also founded ventures such as Sirius Satellite Radio and Sirius XM Holdings. She came out as a transgender in 1994 when she was 40 years old. She’s been married to Bina Aspen since 1982 and has four children. She’s a staunch advocate of Transgender rights.
Chris Hughes, Co-Chair – Economic Security Project
Chris co-founded Facebook with Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin, and Mark Zuckerberg. He also served as its spokesperson. After leaving Facebook in 2007, he became the director of online organizing for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. Then he founded Juno, a social network that aimed at connecting those interested in social activism and welfare. He was the publisher and editor-in-chief of the New Republic from 2012 to 2016. He currently is the Co-Chair at Economic Security Project. He’s been married to Sean Eldridge since 2012. Sean is president of an investment fund named Hudson River Ventures and an advocate of LGBTQ+ equality.
Peter Thiel, Chairman – Palantir Technologies
Although Peter Thiel is known mostly for co-founding PayPal and being its CEO, he is also an avid hedge fund manager and venture capitalist. Theil’s stake was estimated to be around $55 million when eBay acquired PayPal in 2002. In 2004, he secured a 10.2% stake in Facebook for $500,000. He was the first to make an outside investment in Facebook and has been on its Board. He also co-founded Palantir Technologies along with Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp in 2003. Palantir Technologies’ valuation was about $22 billion when it went public in 2020. He is a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ causes and has contributed to the American Foundation for Equal Rights and GOProud. Peter married his long-time partner Matt Danzeisen in 2017 and now lives with him in Los Angeles.
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