Anthony Petrello: A Modern Hero

Anthony Petrello traces his roots back to an Italian neighborhood in Newark, New Jersey. He was born to working-class parents but was an exceptional student. Today, he is an exceptional executive and corporate tactician, a philanthropist and a father. He mastered differential calculus at an early age and was accepted to Yale University on full scholarship. In his early college days, Anthony Petrello worked with Serge Lang to advance human understanding of number theory. He graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree and master’s Yale and went on to achieve a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

When he graduated, he quickly found work at a law firm, Baker & McKenzie. He worked his way up and quickly found himself in the position of Managing Partner, which he held until 1991. There he focused on on international arbitration, taxation and general corporate law. In 1991, one of Baker & McKenzie’s clients, Nabors Industries, hired Petrello as its president and Chief Operating Officer. He worked his way up to Deputy Chairman in 2003 and tool the role of Chief Executive Officer in 2011.

He is known for his long-term strategic plans and is credited with bringing Nabors Industries into the modern era. He has also masterminded the selection and purchase of some of the company’s biggest acquisitions. When Nabors Industries makes sales, Petrello makes money. His contract states that 80 percent of his salary is based on corporate receipts. But Petrello does far more than collect a huge paycheck. Helping the community is a huge part of the corporate culture at Nabors Industries. After Hurricane Harvey, Tony Petrello offered matching contributions to his company’s employees toward the hurricane relief efforts. He raised over $170,000.

Child neurological disorders are an issue that sits close to the heart with the Petrellos. When Carena, the Petrello’s daughter, was born premature, she was quickly diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia. As she grew, she developed cerebral palsy. Tony and Cynthia wanted a cure. The Petrellos quickly discovered how much scientists have yet to learn about cerebral palsy. They made a $7 million donation to help fund the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. The hospital’s invited Tony to join the Board of Trustees and assist in fundraising efforts.

Despite humble beginnings, Anthony Petrello overcame many obstacles through intelligence and a passion to do good.

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