Today, Nabors Industries, Ltd., is one of the largest drilling contractors in the world, with an annual revenue that exceeded $2 billion in 2016. Headquartered in Houston, TX, as well as Bermuda, and with a staggering 30,000 employees, Nabors Industries has been influential on the oil and gas industry as a whole, helping to increase its growth tremendously. In 2010, they executed their largest acquisition, obtaining Superior Well Services.
At the age of 62, Tony Petrello was recently announced as one of the highest paid Chief Executive Officer in the United States according to the list released by the Associated Press. The head of Nabor’s Industries, Ltd, reportedly earned in excess of $15 million in 2016, based on a combination of stock options and yearly salary, reflecting the virtually unprecedented success that his company has enjoyed in the oil and gas industry since his rise to the top. Although Tony Petrello is currently one of the wealthiest CEO’s in America, he had to overcome humble beginnings in order to reach this level of success.
Tony Petrello was raised in a middle-class neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey, and with the help of a public school scholarship, he attended Yale University, where he excelled in mathematics. After garnering his B.S. and M.S., he moved on to Harvard Law School, graduating in 1979. His initial foray into law came when he joined the Baker & McKenzie law firm where he would eventually rise to the position of Managing Partner of the New York Office, before his exit in 1991. Upon leaving, Mr. Petrello was offered a job by one of Baker & McKenzie’s clients, Nabors Industries. After accepting the position, he quickly rose through the ranks, becoming President and Chief Operating Officer. This trend would continue throughout his time with Nabors Industries, and by 2003 he’d become Deputy Chairman, taking the top slot, CEO, several years later in 2011.
Aside from running the company that he has helped to grow at an exponential rate since his arrival, Tony Petrello is an active philanthropist, citing it as one of his life’s passions. Upon learning that his daughter Carena would be faced with battling the rigors of cerebral palsy, he and his family began researching the condition, and quickly realized that the knowledge regarding developing brains was critically lacking. This prompted him to give the significant donation of $50 million to the Texas Children’s Hospital, in order to fund the Neurological Research Institute.
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