How Tony Petrello Climbed the Ivy all the way to the Top

When 18-year-old Anthony Petrello arrived in New Haven, Connecticut to begin his freshman year in college, he was a gregarious kid from Newark, New Jersey. People who knew him then all say that he had a great sense of humor and he was brilliant. Young Tony Petrello was a math major. He was a Jersey Boy from a working-class background. His intelligence swung open the doors to an Ivy League education. Yale is one of the eight most elite universities in the United States. Students of Ivy League institutions are typically the academically high achieving children of the privileged. What Tony Petrello lacked regarding pedigree, he more than made up for with brains.

Anthony Petrello completed his BS and MS in mathematics. Along the way, he became a protégé of Yale’s celebrated professor Serge Lang. Tony could have easily achieved what few kids with accents like his had ever accomplished, a Ph.D. from Yale. Surprisingly, he opted to climb further up the ladder of elitism and privilege. Mr. Petrello enrolled at Harvard Law and went on to achieve his JD. With degrees from both Yale and Harvard, Anthony Petrello had in his possession the keys to unlock a lucrative and successful career.Following graduation, Mr. Petrello took a job as a corporate lawyer with Baker & McKenzie in 1979. By 1986 he had become the managing partner of the prominent law firm’s New York office. Then in 1991, the kid from New Jersey was presented with an offer he could not refuse.

Nabors Industries Ltd., one of Baker & McKenzie’s clients, offered Petrello the position of COO. Tony Petrello accepted their offer, and that was the beginning of his brilliant executive career. Shortly after joining Nabors Industries he was named COO and president. In 2011 he was made the CEO, and in the very next year, he was elected chairman of the board.Nabors Industries, based in Houston, Texas, is the most preeminent land-based oil and gas drilling concern in the world. The company’s shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange and are part of the S&P 500 index. Mr. Petrello, now 62-years-old, is responsible for 15,300 employees, and the company’s operations in 29 different countries. Anthony Petrello has made it to the top of the corporate ladder, joining a long list of influential alumni of America’s Ivy League institutions.

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