When you are a bright young person, the world is your oyster. At the age of 18, Anthony Petrello was already showing signs of being a genius. He was on his way to achieving great things in the field of mathematics at Yale University. After completing his BS and MS degrees, the young protégé of Yale’s renowned Professor Serge Lang was on the path toward achieving his Ph.D. Everyone who knew Anthony Petrello, back in those early days, imagined him as a laudable academician, who would go on to advance the field of mathematics someday. The classroom could undoubtedly have become his stage, but Petrello had other plans.
Instead, Anthony Petrello enrolled at Harvard Law and completed his JD. Upon graduating, his law degree bestowed upon him the rights and privileges which ultimately led him to the highest levels of corporate America. Anthony Petrello’s stage would be the boardroom, not the classroom. The first stop was Baker & McKenzie, where he rose from a junior associate in 1979 to managing partner of the firms New York office by 1986. Then in 1991, he was recruited as an executive by Nabors Industries, one of the firms top clients. That year Nabors made him their president and COO.
Houston, Texas-based Nabors Industries Ltd., is the world’s largest oil and gas rig contractor. The company has revenues of over two billion Dollars annually and 15,300 employees. In 2011, the mathematician turned, lawyer and corporate executive became CEO of Nabors Industries. The next year, 2012, Mr. Anthony Petrello was voted CEO and chairman of the board of directors. As the chairman of the board, he has instituted a series of initiatives which have brought about significant savings and efficiencies. Thus the company has experienced earnings growth under his leadership.
Nabors has undoubtedly rewarded Mr. Petrello for his effectiveness as CEO. In 2014 he was even recognized by AP as the top paid boss in America. In the year leading up to that AP ranking, Mr. Petrello earned 68 million Dollars. Most of the compensation was in the form of bonuses and stock options. No matter how you slice it, Anthony Petrello’s decision years ago to choose the boardroom over the classroom appears to have been a no-brainer in retrospect.
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