Tom Friel retired as Chairman of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. in 2007. Heidrick & Struggles is one of the world’s leading executive search and leadership consulting firms with offices in over 30 countries. It is a publicly traded firm listed on NASDAQ (HSII). Mr. Friel joined Heidrick & Struggles in 1979 and played an important role in developing the firm's leadership position in key markets. He established the firm's Silicon Valley presence, served as Managing Partner of the Menlo Park, California, office for its first five years. He was cofounder and then later assumed the responsibility of managing the firm's Global Technology Practice, which he led from 1987 to 1995.
From 1992 to 1999, Mr. Friel undertook the additional role of Managing Partner, Asia Pacific, and led the opening of 10 offices throughout the region. From 1999 through 2001, Mr. Friel served as President of Heidrick & Struggles Ventures, the firm's division responsible for all future initiatives, new business strategies, investments, and alliances. He served as Chairman & CEO from 2003-2006, prior to assuming the role of Chairman. In his search career, Mr. Friel has specialized in recruiting CEOs, Chief Technology Officers, and Board of Director members. The partners of Heidrick & Struggles in 1998 named him the recipient of the John E. Struggles Partnership Award, the firm's most significant honor. He was also chosen to receive the 2007 annual award for leadership in the profession by the Association of Executive Search Consultants.
Mr. Friel is an honors graduate of Purdue University, where he majored in Industrial Engineering. He also holds an MBA degree from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and is a former member of the Business School Advisory Council.
In addition to the Computer History Museum, he is currently a board member of TalentSky and CollegeSpring, where he is currently serving as Board Chair. He is a member of the Advisory Boards of the Seraph Group, TalentAge, and Technology Trust Network. His prior Board and Advisory Board experience includes DocuSign Corp., Heidrick & Struggles, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Children’s Health Council, The Bridgespan Group, and several other organizations. He regularly writes and speaks on business related topics including CEO succession, Board performance, and executive compensation.