Anthony ‘Tony’ Petrello is the chairman and CEO of Nabors Industries, the largest land-based gas and oil-drilling contractor in the world. He’s also the highest paid chief executive with an annual salary of $68.2 million.
Born and raised in a working-class community in Newark, New Jersey, Petrello’s rise to become the highest paid CEO is the result of talent, a good education, hard work and good fortune. A genius level math whiz as a teenager, he earned a scholarship to Yale University where he graduated with a B.S. and an M.S. in Mathematics while studying under world-renowned mathematician Professor Serge Lang.
Rather than go on to do great things as a supremely talented academic, Tony Petrello opted instead to attend Harvard Law School and earn his Juris Doctor. That choice put him on the path to become America’s highest paid CEO. Once he had his law degree Petrello was hired by the well respected Manhattan, New York law firm Baker & McKenzie where he excelled. By 1986 he was the law firm’s New York office managing partner. He held that position until 1991 when he was hired by one of Baker & McKenzie’s most important clients, Houston, Texas based Nabors Industries, as Chief Operating Officer of its Nabors Industries Ltd. division.
In 1992 Tony Petrello was promoted to president of Nabors Industries Inc. and in 2011 Anthony Petrello became the company’s Chief Executive Officer. The next year he was named chairman of the board. Petrello’s business acumen, natural intelligence, hard work and leadership skills have endeared him to the company and helped them to become very successful. That,in turn, led to his top rated salary. Petrello also married his college sweetheart, actress and producer Cynthia Carrafa and had a daughter. When his daughter, who was born prematurely, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Petrello donated $7 million to Texas Children’s Hospital to create a neurological research center.
Today Petrello is deeply involved in philanthropy. He’s now Texas Children’s Hospital Incorporated’s director. He’s also a director at MediaOnDemand.com and of Stewart & Stevenson, LLC. Plus he remains connected to Harvard Law School, Nabors Blue Sky Limited and a number of other professional and charitable organizations. Anthony ‘Tony’ Petrello is now a living embodiment of the American Dream. He has worked his way up from a working-class background to become one of the world’s highest paid chief executive officer through hard work and great choices.