People who have known Nabors Industries chairman, president and CEO Anthony ‘Tony’ Petrello remember him as a brash, bright student with uncanny math skills Raised in a working class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, he earned a scholarship to Yale where he earned both a bachelor’s and a masters degree in mathematics under the tutelage of the internationally famous mathematician Professor Serge Lang. After completing his degrees, Petrello surprised most that knew him and enrolled at Harvard Law School where he earned a juris doctor. That decision would change his life forever.
After graduating from Harvard Law School Petrello was hired by Baker & McKenzie, a New York law firm of some note. Soon his intelligence and his work ethic led to him becoming managing partner of the office in New York. Anthony Petrello remained with the law firm from 1985 until 1991 when he left to take the position as chief operating officer of Nabors Industries. Petrello moved up quickly at the gas and oil drilling contractor. By 1992 he was promoted to president of the company and in 2011 he was named CEO. A year later be was selected to become company chairman. By 2015 he was earning $68 million a year and was the country’s highest paid CEO.
A husband and father, Petrello married Cynthia Carrafa Petrello, a soap-opera producer and actress he started dating in college. Their daughter Carena was born prematurely and diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Petrello immediately donated $7 million dollars to Texas Children’s Hospital to act as seed money for their proposed neurological research center. And Petrello has remained active in philanthropy. In addition to supporting several other philanthropic causes and organizations, he remains committed to Texas Children’s Hospital. He’s now director of Texas Children’s Hospital Inc.
Petrello continues to work with a number of other companies. He has been Stewart & Stevenson, LLC’s director since 2011. He also served as MediaOnDemand.com’s director. While many people say it’s Anthony Petrello’s work ethic and intelligence that has led to his spectacular success, Petrello himself says he’s been very fortunate when it comes to his career. But a wise person once said that luck is when opportunity meets preparedness. And Tony Petrello certainly prepared himself for success. He didn’t let the fact he was from a working-class community stifle his ambition.
He has now shown the world he knows exactly what to do when given an opportunity.