Influential Leaders

Navdeep Gupta

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, DICK’S Sporting Goods
Recognition Year(s): 2023
Area of Impact: Finance or Accounting
School: Raymond A. Mason School of Business, College of William and Mary
Location: United States

Navdeep Gupta has achieved career success with the Indian Navy, Sprint Nextel, Advance Auto Parts, and DICK’S Sporting Goods. As executive vice president and chief financial officer, Gupta is instrumental in DICK’S Sporting Goods’ community outreach, supporting diverse supplier initiatives, guiding monetary grants to improve access to youth athletics, and working to establish the holistic community and education center within Twin Rivers Elementary School in the Pittsburgh area.

Gupta exemplifies what it means to be a societal impact leader through his commitment to community support. As chief financial officer, Gupta has overseen and launched companywide strategic initiatives that have directly impacted the youth, employees, and businesses with which they connected. Through the Sports Matter program and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, one in 21 public schools in the United States have received funding for their athletic programs, enabling over 1.1 million youths continued access to sports in their communities.

In addition to these funding efforts, Gupta has coordinated a public-private partnership between the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation and Twin Rivers Elementary School, where 99 percent of students receive free or low-cost lunches. This partnership is focused on a holistic community education in support of healthy minds, healthy bodies, and healthy relationships. Gupta has said of the partnership, “If the parents need a place to [have] a laundry facility … that will be on the school. If you need opportunities to be able to find meals, also [that’ll] be available at the school.”

Gupta’s mission is to not only use the company’s financial positioning to positively influence these communities but also to provide DICK’S employees a connection to their work culture and a stronger sense of belonging to the area in which they live and work. These social impact initiatives are also part of Gupta’s plan to devote 300 million USD of DICK’S spending power to purchase products from diversified suppliers and small businesses over the next few years. These conscious fiduciary decisions, with Gupta at the helm, showcase an overwhelmingly positive commitment to making a difference in the world.

Activated by the fundamental business education and the philosophy of principled achievement he received in his MBA program at the College of William & Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, Gupta launched a strong and extensive career. Principled achievement, as coined by former William & Mary’s dean, Lawrence B. Pulley, refers to valuing people, diversity of thought, empathy, humility, and success while focusing on the development of others. Gupta epitomizes principled achievement as he consistently considers how corporate identity and influence can be leveraged positively for greater impact.

In speaking with the business school’s Leadership & Business podcast, Gupta shared, “We cannot continue to look to others to lead in this space … we have a legitimate right to make a difference in this world.” The right that Gupta refers to is “doing good and doing well,” meaning taking fiduciary responsibility for the company while actively choosing to spread that financial health to support greater causes.

In 2021, under Gupta’s leadership as CFO, DICK’S Sporting Goods delivered net sales of 12.3 billion USD and grew consolidated same-store sales by 26.5 percent. While that growth is to be celebrated, it is the 35 million USD invested in youth athletic programs in 2021 that highlights the true impact of his work. Gupta’s leadership and innovative mindset, as crafted through his time in the MBA program, have provided him the financial and leadership acumen needed to actively create compassionate, positive change for future generations of athletes and communities around the United States.

Gupta’s career success at DICK’S Sporting Goods, a Fortune 500 company, is a shining inspiration for the next generation of business students. After graduating from William & Mary, Gupta consistently sought progressive positions and executive management opportunities while at Sprint Nextel, Advance Auto Parts, and currently at DICK’S Sporting Goods. He has used the fundamental skills of his MBA program to oversee DICK’S flourishing financial well-being, but it is his commitment to societal impact and supporting local communities that has elevated him to his current success.

In addition to being an inspiring example of using a business degree to effect societal change, Gupta has devoted his time to sharing insights with business students and members on LinkedIn, recruiting student talent for internships, and supporting student scholarship efforts as a member of his MBA Reunion Committee. These opportunities directly impact the students engaged, proving how continued involvement with one’s alma mater can create meaningful and well-rounded experiences after graduation.

Gupta has also lectured and shared his philosophy on business leadership and his approach to principled achievement during the keynote panel at MBA Alumni Weekend 2022 and in an episode of the Leadership & Business podcast. Gupta’s example of commitment to positive change and giving back continues to inspire future business leaders at William & Mary and around the country, showing that it is possible to be at the height of your career and still make a difference.