Matthew Friend is a Berkeley varsity athlete-turned-financial head honcho for one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. With more than two decades of corporate finance and strategy experience, Friend serves as Chief Financial Officer for apparel giant Nike, helping to navigate the company through a significant business transformation as it seeks to emerge from the pandemic.
For co-workers and shareholders alike, Friend is an indispensible asset to the company. In addition to his CFO duties, he is a member of Nike's Executive Leadership Team, is the senior management representative to the Audit & Finance Committee of the Nike Board of Directors, and serves as an executive sponsor of the Women of Nike Employee Group.
Friend, who first joined the company in 2009, has been Nike’s CFO since March 2020. Before being named to the top finance job, he worked his way up the corporate ladder, sharpening his deep financial acumen and stewardship skills. He spent his first two years at Nike focused on corporate strategy and development before being named CFO of Emerging Markets, making him responsible for a wide range of operating segments that included Latin America, Africa, and most of Asia. Later, he served as CFO of Global Categories, Product, and Functions — and was subsequently appointed CFO of the Nike Brand. While in this role, he also took on the additional responsibilities of Vice President of Investor Relations.
Before Nike, Friend cut his teeth in the financial services industry, where he spent the first decade of his career. At Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, he held leadership roles such as vice president of investment banking and mergers and acquisitions. In these positions, he advised on numerous transactions across the media, telecom, and technology industries.
More recently, in December 2021, Friend added to his impressive list of responsibilities as a business leader by accepting a position on the board of directors for United Airlines.
Friend received a bachelor’s in business administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, where he was a pitcher for the baseball team.