Tony Petrello: From a Wicked-smart Math Whiz to a Millionaire Company Executive

From an early age, Anthony ‘Tony’ Petrello had already developed a strong interest in crunching the numbers. While in high school, he displayed an unrivaled talent in math. The extroverted New Jersey-born kid followed his dream, which came true under the tutelage of the world-famous mathematician, Prof. Serge Lang. He was admitted at the prestigious Yale University to study passion: Mathematics. He graduated from the university with two degrees: a Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Mathematics. However, he opted for a different field for his Doctorate studies. Anthony Petrello joined Harvard Law School where he graduated with Juris Doctor. This solid academic foundation set him on a career path that has seen gross over $68 million in annual compensation.

Towards Becoming the Highest Paid Company Executive

In 2013, Nabors Industries Limited paid Anthony Petrello a whopping $68.2 in annual compensation. This elevated him as the leading company executive in terms of compensations. However, his colossal payout matches his excellent track record at the company he joined in 1991 as a chief operations officer. Since his appointment as the company’s board of directors’ chairman, chief executive officer and president by 2012, Nabors Industries Ltd. has enjoyed tremendous growth in its share prices and profit margins. In 2012, the company registered significant increase in its profits and since then, the company’s share prices have shot by a massive 180%. The company has become a world leader in land-based oil driller and explorer with operations in 25 countries. The company currently operates up to 500 oil rigs. Mr. Petrello practiced law at Baker & McKenzie, which he joined in 1979. When the law firm opened a new office in New York in 1986, he became a managing partner up to 1991.


Anthony Petrello and his wife Cynthia are actively engaged in philanthropy. Their passion was born out of adversity as their daughter, Carena, was born prematurely and suffered from periventricular leukomalacia (PLV) at birth in 1997. Even though she lost most of her abilities, this inspired her parents to donate up to $7 million to finance the operations of Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute founded in 2010 at Texas Children’s Hospital. It carries out research on neurological conditions in children. Learn More.