Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest bear of all? The answer just might be Chris Salgardo. As president of Kiehl’s, one of the biggest names in skincare, this bearded beauty is not only blazing a trail in the business world, he’s also giving antiquated ideas of what it means to be butch an extreme makeover.
With his preference for sporting muscle tees and tight jeans rather than three-piece suits and power ties, Salgardo is hardly your average buttoned-up businessman. But what most sets him apart in our eyes is his insistence on being out and proud in a corporate environment where conservatism—even in the beauty industry—is the name of the game and being openly gay can still cause eyebrows to wrinkle. It’s a decision that Salgardo is anything but apologetic about.
“You have to provide good role models for kids who are struggling, so it’s important to be visible and show the leader of a major corporation can be gay and successful,” he told Out magazine.
Adding to this role-model status are Salgardo’s many philanthropic endeavors. Under his leadership, Kiehl’s has created collaborations with top artists, celebrities, and athletes to raise money and awareness for organizations within its three pillar causes: HIV/AIDS, the environment, and children’s charities.
But it’s Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR event that’s pushed the company’s mission of giving back to the community into overdrive. This annual 10–day, 1,800-mile charity motorcycle ride from...