In The Glass Closet, former BP CEO John Browne reflects deeply on the toll that concealing his sexuality took on his life and career. His painfully honest and compelling account puts other CEO memoirs—including his own dutiful but dry first book, Beyond Business: An Inspirational Memoir from a Visionary Leader (Orion, 2010)—to shame.
Compare, for example, Browne’s descriptions of May 1, 2007, the day that he resigned from BP after a U.K. court gave the Daily Mail permission to publish allegations of impropriety by a former boyfriend.
In Beyond Business, Browne recounts his final departure from BP’s London headquarters through the press scrum and into his car, with the sole expression of emotion the epitome of British understatement: “It was intrusive and unpleasant.”
Here’s the same moment in The Glass Closet:
It felt as though all the air had been sucked out of the vehicle.