The Man Who Beat the Odds: Anthony Petrello

Anthony Petrello (Tony) is the Chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries Ltd, one of the largest oil and gas drilling contractor. Based in Hamilton, Bermuda the contracting company has operations spanning locations that include: North America, the Middle East, the Far East, and Africa. It also has a operating headquarters in Houston, Texas. He also serves on the Nabors Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Board.

Petrello is the top grossing chief executive in the U.S. Nothing was handed to him on a silver platter. He worked hard to get to where he is and overcame a lot of obstacles. Born in Newark, New Jersey and raised in a working class family he’s exceeded all expectations and then some. Who would’ve ever thought the skinny kid from Jersey with the heavy Italian accent would be where he is today.

Anthony Petrello got his first career opportunity in 1979 when he took a job with the Baker & McKenzie law firm. While there, he primarily dealt with matters that involved international arbitration, taxation and general corporate law. He received a promotion to Managing Partner for the firm’s New York office in 1986. He decided to leave the law firm five years later in 1991.

Petrello is also an avid philanthropist. He and his wife donated $7 million in seed funding for a neurological research center at Texas Children’s Hospital. The two have been strong supporters of the research since their 8 year old daughter, Carena, was born prematurely and diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), a common neurological disease in premature infants caused by a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain. Because of this Carena developed cerebral palsy. The condition has severely impaired her motor skills and at age eight she sill has trouble walking and talking, as well as, feeding herself. The Petrellos are determined to find a cure for their daughter’s sake.

Petrello attended both Harvard Law School and Yale University. He holds a J.D. degree from Harvard and B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mathematics from Yale.

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