Tony Petrello is among Houston’s wealthiest citizens and he’s earned his big business reputation from from running a major oil drilling company in Nabors Industries with a global portfolio. But he earned the respect of many other citizens in Houston when he started a relief effort fund to help the city come out of hurricane Harvey’s damage. Petrello opened up an online fundraiser and helped raise over $175,000 to help the city to which he also matched out of his own pockets. He also gave the employees of Nabors Industries time off with compensation to help cleanup in the days after, and many people affected by the damage were given assistance such as warm meals and shelter.
Tony Petrello came to Houston later in life after having a previous career in law. In his childhood and throughout his college years, Petrello was a mathematics genius who graduated in the field from Yale University. He even studied under mathematician Serge Lange while he was there. After deciding to go into law school and then getting his JD, he joined the law offices of Baker & McKenzie in 1979. His problem solving abilities helped many big corporations save funds through tax loopholes, and the Board of Directors at Nabors Industries who experienced this firsthand asked him to come join them. So in 1991 after 13 years as an attorney, Petrello became chief operating officer of Nabors.
Tony Petrello has worked with the board of directors and shareholders of Nabors Industries for more than 25 years, and the company currently brings in over $5 billion in annual revenue. Right now their research and development investment is based in automating their drilling equipment and data analytics, and they also have formed partnerships for developing new rigs and increasing offshore site holdings as they have with a new Saudi Aramco deal. Petrello even had a pay raise once that put his compensation at $68.7 million.
Tony Petrello is also a philanthropist and a father, and it’s been both roles that have led to his being involved in giving to the Texas Children’s Hospital. His daughter Carena has had a brain development disorder and though she couldn’t receive treatment as an infant, he decided to support a brain research institute so one day a cure might be found. The institute was first started by Petrello’s friends Dan and Jan Duncan and thus far has received $7 million from him.