What We Can Learn from Tony Petrello’s Success Story

Tony Petrello paved his path to success to become one of the CEOs in the U.S. who receive high compensation. His achievements can be attributed to his creative thinking abilities, natural gifts, hard work, and consistency. Petrello has also earned a lot of respect in the philanthropy world for his support on kids with neurological disorders. He donated $7 million to help Texas Children’s Hospital in addition to having board of trustees membership at the institution.

Excellence in Academics

Petrello’s enthusiasm for becoming a leader in future began when he was still a kid residing in Newmark, NJ. He was enlisted by Yale University for a scholarship because of his exceptional math abilities. As part of the scholarship, he also got a chance to be mentored by Serge Lang, a math professor and author.

Courtesy of the scholarship, Tony Petrello graduated with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale. He also met the love of his life and wife, Cynthia, during his time at Yale. Petrello’s professors expected him to become a mathematician after his graduation. However, he decided to enroll in Harvard Law School to pursue a course in law.

Career Highlights

Petrello was hired by Baker & McKenzie law firm in 1979. This job opportunity acted as his debut in the highly-competitive law industry. At Baker & McKenzie, he worked as a lawyer with a specialty in arbitration and taxation. Due to his exemplary performance in this fields, he was promoted to managing partner of the firm’s New York-based subsidiary.

One of Baker & McKenzie’s most frequent clients was Nabors Industries. During his tenure at the company, Petrello got an opportunity to interact with top executives of Nabors, the largest oil and natural gas drilling company in the world. Nabors’ executives saw a great potential in Tony Petrello. They tried convincing him to join them, and after some time, he accepted the offer.

Tenure at Nabors Industries

Petrello had to relocate from New York to Texas after he accepted the job offer. He began working for Nabors Industries as a chief operating officer and executive committee board member in 1991. A year later, Petrello was named as the president because of his efforts to build Nabors. He is credited for facilitating the acquisition of Grace Drilling for $32 million. At Nabors Industries, Petrello has served in the CEO capacity since 2011. He has also served as board chair and executive committee board chair since 2012. Besides Nabors, he is a director at Hilcorp Energy and MediaOnDemand.com.


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