Embrace the power of no
There are plenty of junior to mid-career positions in academia that do not have any serious management component. Consequently, it ought to be possible for an academic to remain in a position without any management responsibilities, so long as they are willing to accept a lower ceiling on academic promotion and pay. Most of the senior positions in universities have some management component, and the "higher" you go the larger the management component. Of course, there are some highly-paid and highly-esteemed academic positions that are pure research positions, but these are extremely competitive.
Like anyone else in an organisation where you begin in a technical capacity, academics need to recognise the realities of how a university functions. Like any other large institution, the higher level positions almost all involve heavy management responsibilities and a corresponding reduction in individual technical work. If you don't want these positions, you have the freedom to apply for lower level positions where the expectations of the role are more concentrated on research, teaching, and other individual technical work. If one where to restrict attention solely to positions that lead to tenure then obviously this leaves less variation in roles, and it entails accepting the roles that are generally present in those positions.
Your colleague/friend may need to look around for another position until he finds one that has role expectations that are compatible with what he wants to do. This should be possible in principle, but there are some obstacles to be aware of. There is an unfortunate tendency in some universities to have an "up or out" mentality where they expect all their junior and mid-career academic staff to work towards higher-level professorial positions that entail large administrative and management roles, or large funding expectations. This can sometimes manifest in a bias against older highly-experienced academics who apply for lower-level positions to avoid those roles. Nevertheless, some university admissions panels appreciate that experienced academics may wish to remain in lower-level roles that do not have a large administrative and management component, or which have lower expectations with regard to bringing in external funding (which is also somewhat of a management-like activity). Attitudes vary a great deal across different disciplines; in highly techincal fields (e.g., mathematics, etc.) it is not unusual for academics to turn down management and administrative work and still remain as workers in good standing for their teaching/research work.
I agree with your point that it is useful to have some leverage, such as having a strong research record and funding. Remember that this is also relative to your academic level, so if you are willing to take a lower-level position, the research and funding expectations are lower, so existing accomplishments will count as more leverage in this context. Ultimately, if he can obtain a position where the role itself does not have a high management component, and where he is "overperforming" relative to research expectations, he should have enough leverage toturn down managment and administrative roles he does not want to do.