Tony Petrello – “Lucky is better.”

Anthony Petrello, the lawyer-cum-executive who helms Nabors Industries, might’ve been perfectly at ease running equations with incredible mathematical geniuses like Noether, Birkhoff, Einstein, von Neumann, Gödel, Turing, Nash (Remember, A Beautiful Mind?), and that guy from the Good Will Hunting movie. Remembered as a math whiz who’d write equations on napkins, he could have tutored Tao.Instead, he took his BS and MS in mathematics from Yale and entered the Harvard law program, forever changing his life.

Petrello’s freshman roommate from Yale, Lloyd Groves, is now editor-at-large at The Daily Beast. He’s read about the tremendous success of fellow Yalies over the years, but to learn that this “whiz at math” who was “basically the kid from Good Will Hunting” who was just a little louder than his more privileged classmates (Petrello made it on on merit, earning a full scholarship) turned out to be an unimaginably wealthy corporate giant – that was a staggering discovery. Groves rediscovered his old roomie after he was named the top-earning CEO of 2013.

It seems that success follows Petrello, who goes by “Tony” rather than “Anthony.” After receiving his JD from Harvard, Tony Petrello began working Manhattan law firm Baker and McKenzie, making managing partner in the mid-80’s. In 1991 he accepted an offer to work as a President in one of his firm’s large clients, Nabors Industries, the largest oil and gas drilling contractor in the world. He rose through the ranks to become CEO in 2011.He has led a charmed life, professionally speaking. In an email to Groves, he told him that “…between being smart or being lucky—lucky is better….I have been extremely fortunate in work.”

Perhaps as he wrote this he was considering that his daughter, Carena, was born with PVL, or periventricular leukomalacia, an extremely rare birth defect. Due to lack of oxygen, she developed cerebral palsy and is severely developmentally delayed.Tony and his wife Cynthia donated $7 Million in seed money to the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital. It is clear to see why the Institute holds a special place in their hearts. Follow him on Twitter : Click Here.