Anthony Petrello: The Best Man

If you ever need to select someone to do a difficult job, send the best-prepared person you can find. If the task requires strength, send the strongest. In a situation where wisdom is the critical factor, you should assign the wisest. So, it only makes sense that in 2011, when Nabors Industries, Ltd. needed a new CEO, they chose Mr. Anthony Petrello. A CEO must be sharp, and that is indeed what he has always been.A corporate CEO is a job where wisdom and intelligence are factors in determining one’s effectiveness. Nabor Industries is a 2 billion Dollar a year business. The company, based in Houston, Texas, is the preeminent player in the contracted oil and gas drilling business. With 15,300 employees and operations in 29 countries around the world, there are many moving parts to manage.

Anthony Petrello was not a newcomer to Nabors when he was appointed CEO. His story begins at Yale University where he completed a BS and MS in mathematics. He then went on to complete his JD at Harvard Law. With two Ivy League diplomas in hand, Baker & McKenzie, a prestigious law firm, quickly recruited him in 1979. Seven years later, Anthony Petrello, was the managing partner of the firms New York City office. Then in 1991, Nabors Industries lured him away to become the firm’s president and COO. Ultimately he became CEO in 2011 and was voted chairman of Nabors’ board of directors in 2012.

As chairman and CEO, Mr. Petrello is responsible for charting a strategic path for the company. Thus far his initiatives have allowed the company to grow and increase its earnings. They have accomplished that by exploiting the latest technology. Nabors, under CEO Petrello, has developed new highly efficient methods for operating its fleet of over 500 oil rigs. These innovations include automation that has reduced the risk and incidence of serious accidents. Anthony Petrello’s keen ability to analyze and address the inefficiencies he identified at Nabors’ has culminated in a leaner operation. Profits rose accordingly, as did Mr. Petrellos performance-based compensation package. In 2014 AP placed Mr. Petrello at the top of its list of the highest-paid CEOs. That year Mr. Petrello earned $68 million, mostly from stock options and performance bonuses.