Retired Chairman, Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc.
Tom Friel retired as chairman of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc. in 2007. Tom 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 office for its first five years. He was cofounder and then later assumed the responsibility of managing the firm's technology practice, which he led from 1987 to 1995.
From 1992 to 1999, Tom undertook the additional role of managing partner, Asia Pacific. From 1999 through 2001, he 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 and CEO from 2003-2006, prior to assuming the role of chairman.
In his search career, Tom has specialized in recruiting CEO's, 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 by the Association of Executive Search Consultants to receive its 2007 annual award for outstanding leadership.
Tom is a graduate of Purdue University, where he majored in industrial engineering. He also holds a master's degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and served on the Business School Advisory Council. Tom is chairman of CollegeSpring, a nonprofit that provides SAT preparation and college mentoring to low-income high school students. His board experience includes several private and nonprofit companies including the Children's Health Council of Palo Alto. In addition Tom is currently serving as a senior advisor to the Bridgespan Group, a Boston-based organization providing consulting services to hundreds of not for profit organizations nationwide, and is a member of the advisory boards of Docusign Corp., HireQ, Norcob Capital and the Seraph Group.
Tom and his wife, Carolyn, live in Hillsborough.