Tony Petrello is one of the most qualified CEOs in the history of the United States. With a MS in mathematics from Yale as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Havard Law School, he has one of the most impressive credentials of any CEO currently working in the country. He also led a highly successful career with law firm Baker McKenzie prior to becoming CEO of Nabors Industries.
In the case of Petrello, his credentials were a good indication of his raw talent. He has proven to be an immense asset to Nabors Industries leading the company through a period of dysfunction and near insolvency to become one of the nation’s leading energy firms.
One of the key steps that Petrello took as chief operating officer was the reincorporation of Nabors Industries in the tax haven of Bermuda. Using his vast expertise in the field of mergers and acquisitions as well as corporate restructuring, Tony Petrello was able to create a special tax entity within the Bermuda jurisdiction. This has allowed it to save billions of dollars in tax liabilities that would have otherwise been owed to the U.S. government. At the time, the move was not popular with shareholders, who worried about being marginalized in the restructuring of the company. They were concerned that Bermuda law would not extend them the same protections that they enjoyed when the company was incorporated within the United States. But these fears turned out to be unfounded. The move ultimately would save the company billions of dollars and reinforce Petrello’s reputation as being one of the most innovative and effective CEOs in the country today.
Nabors Industries was also largely responsible for the company’s shift away from older and less profitable business models into the high-tech industry of manufacturing and selling high-tech directional drilling equipment. This is proving to be one of the company’s best moves, as it has become the main provider of directional drilling equipment to all of North America’s many lucrative land-based extraction sites, including the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota as well as the tar sands Alberta.