Tony Petrello Grows From College Math Whiz to Top Paid Exec

In his freshman year of college, Anthony Petrello was a young, 18-year old math whiz from New Jersey, with a strong accent and pride in his family’s Italian American heritage. At Yale University, he could perform genius-level mathematics and studied under renowned mathematician Professor Serge Lang. He easily could have gone on to a career in academics, but chose law school, earning his J.D at Harvard Law School.As he wrote in an email to a former college freshman roommate, “between being smart or being lucky—lucky is better.” That roommate, Lloyd Grove, wrote a very charming piece about finding that former college roommate at the top of the AP’s Highest Paid CEOs.

Luck has certainly played a role in Anthony Petrello’s career. When he could have become a famous mathematician, he chose instead to pursue a career in law. Upon graduation, he joined the prestigious Manhattan law firm, Baker & McKenzie and from all accounts, he was a very good lawyer there during the 1980s. One of the firm’s largest clients, Nabor Industries of Houston, recruited him.By 1991, Anthony Petrello was named President of Nabor Industries, an oil and natural gas drilling equipment contractor with contracts in dozens of places around the world including onshore and offshore sites in North America and the Middle East. Since he joined Nabor Industries, the company has grown and developed into the world’s largest contractor for onshore drilling equipment, with contracts connecting it to big names in the oil and natural gas industry.

It’s the type of successful in education, or just lucky, career that can make a former college roommate eager to know what went wrong, as Lloyd Grove explained. Many Yale grads of their class went on to top careers, and exciting lives, but background of Anthony Petrello has done the best financially. His total compensation in Fiscal Year 2015 was 15,372,429 dollars.In addition to his work with Nabors Industries as Chairman of the Board and President, Anthony Petrello is also on the board of directors at the Texas Children’s Hospital, and the director of Stewart and Stevenson, LLC. Learn More.

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