Working on oil drilling rigs has often been a dangerous job and one reserved for very able bodied men over the years. But the industry is now starting to incorporate more automated drilling equipment in its wells and offshore sites, and Nabors Industries has been responsible for some of these advancements. This company holds one of the world’s largest land-based rigs and deploys millions of dollars in offshore stations each year. The man with the vision behind future equipment investments at Nabors is Tony Petrello, the Chief Executive Officer and chairman of the company who can be credited with the billions in revenue the company generates each year. Petrello has a long history of business dealings and his background in mathematics and law has played a big role in the way he’s run the company.
Mathematics was the first interest of Tony Petrello who didn’t have the luxury of attending private school growing up, but he was brilliant at solving math problems so much so that he earned a scholarship to Yale University. He studied the field throughout both his undergraduate and graduate years, but then he unexpectedly changed course and went into corporate law. He got his JD from Harvard and then was hired by Baker & McKenzie, a New York law firm and worked there for 13 years. Petrello’s connection with Nabors Industries originated at the firm and likely from his ability to find loopholes in the corporate tax code. He officially joined Nabors Industries as their Chief Operating Officer in 1991 and became CEO in 2011 and chairman one year later.
Tony Petrello actually topped every CEO including investment bankers and hedge fund managers in 2013 when he had a new contract drawn up that offered high bonus payments the first year it went into effect. He made $68.7 million adding his stock and equity value to his base and bonus pay. He has not repeated that year’s earnings since. Petrello has been generous with his money giving it to many charities in the Houston community. But one organization he’s been very happy to give to is the neurological research center at the Texas Children’s Hospital. Having a cure for brain disorders is important to Petrello because he’s been a father for 21 years to a daughter who was born with periventricular leukomalacia. The research institute where he currently serves as a trustee has received about $7 million in donations from him.
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