How Anthony Petrello Went From Mathematics To Oil Drilling Supplier

Anthony Petrello has become a recognized leader in the oil drilling industry. His company, Nabors Industries contracts drilling equipment out to oil production companies and has developed a lot of proprietary technology and automated software solutions.

Recently Petrello was named as the highest paid CEO of 2013 with a salary of about $68 million, but due to some corporate restructuring of the company he didn’t quite make the title in 2014. But his knowledge both of oil drilling technology and financial law has helped him lead the company successfully over the last 25 years. Petrello is also a committed philanthropist to the Texas Children’s Hospital.

Anthony Petrello grew up in Newark, NJ and his area of expertise was mathematics. He was top of his class and earned acceptance into Yale where he studied under the famous Professor Serge Lang. He graduated with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in advanced mathematics, but he decided to go into law shortly after graduating. He completed his J.D. at Harvard and soon after started working for Baker & McKenzie law firm in New York. He advised major clients on business structuring and tax laws for about 13 years, and in 1991 one of Baker & McKenzie’s clients, Nabors Industries decided they wanted Petrello’s expertise on their executive board. Petrello started out as Chief Operating Officer and then took over as CEO upon the retirement of then CEO Eugene Isenberg.

Petrello became a part of the Texas Children’s Hospital because his young daughter Carena was born with periventricular leukomalacia which later caused her to have Cerebral Palsy. Anthony and his wife Cynthia had hoped to find treatment options for Carena, but all the doctors they consulted with said nothing could be done. The Petrellos were brokenhearted, but they didn’t give up the fight to bring awareness to CP. They soon met Dan and Jan Duncan who had also taken an interest in child brain disorders and had launched the Dan and Jan Duncan Neurological Research Institute. The Petrellos made gifts totaling $7 million to this research center and hope that more businessmen will take an interest in neurological research philanthropy.


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