In Memoriam: Former Air Products Chairman and CEO Dexter Baker
LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Nov. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Products (NYSE: APD) today announced that former Chairman and CEO Dexter F. Baker died November 1. Baker had been Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer from 1986-1992 after serving the company in several advancing roles after joining Air Products in 1952.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dexter's wife Dottie and his family. Dexter was a constant advocate for the health and success of this company. He was a pioneer for Air Products in many ways. He was very good at setting tough goals, one of which was globalizing Air Products and he led the way in achieving this. We are now in over 50 countries. Another was for 50 percent of Air Products' sales to come from outside the U.S. Today about two-thirds of our sales come from abroad. Dexter was very forward-thinking and our company and all of our employees owe him a debt of gratitude for his leadership. Dexter will be sorely missed by many at our company and in the community where he was very active and focused on ways to better our society," said John McGlade, Air Products' Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Baker joined Air Products in 1952 as a sales engineer. In 1956 he was made general sales manager of the process equipment division. In 1957 Baker was appointed managing director of Air Products Limited and started the company's European operations. In 1964 he became chief executive of Air Products' operations in Europe and was elected to Air Products' board of directors. Baker returned to the United States in 1967 and was appointed executive vice president the following year. In 1978 he was elected president and chief operating officer, and in 1986 he became chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Baker retired from Air Products in May 1992 and from the executive committee of Air Products board in January 1998.
Baker is a past chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers. He was a member of the business delegation that accompanied President George Bush on his Presidential Trade Mission to Asia and the Pacific Rim in January 1992. He served as the Chemical Industry Trade Advisor for six and a half years. Baker is former chairman of the Investment Policy Advisory Committee to the U.S. Trade Representative and a former member of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Partnership Board. He was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Management Association. He is a former director of AMP Incorporated and Eastman Chemical Company. He was also on the Advisory Council of Lutron Electronics, Inc.
Baker received the prestigious Chemical Industry Medal of the Society of Chemical Industry (American Section) in 1991; was honored as the Business Leader of the Year by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry in 1992; and received the Leadership Award from the United States Council for International Business in 1993.
Baker was born in 1927. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1950 and a master's degree in 1957 from Lehigh University. Lehigh awarded Baker an honorary doctorate of engineering in 1981; Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales awarded him an honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1991; and Muhlenberg College awarded him an honorary doctorate of humanities in 1998. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-1946 and in the U.S. Army from 1950-1952.
Baker was a member of the board of trustees of the Harry C. and Mary M. Trexler Foundation and president of the Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation. He was a Trustee Emeritus of Lehigh University and is a former member of the Asa Packer Society, Iacocca Institute Advisory Board and the Agile Manufacturing Enterprise Forum. He chaired the $35 million capital campaign for Lehigh University's new Zoellner Arts Center and its Baker Concert Hall.
In 1983 Baker was the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen's Award from the Minsi Trails Council, Boy Scouts of America and received the Pioneer Award from Minsi Trails Council in 1997. In 1995 the Allentown Arts Commission awarded him the Arts Ovation Special Recognition/Contribution Award for outstanding contribution to the arts for which he also received a special citation from the House of Representatives of Pennsylvania. In 1998 Baker received the Lehigh Valley Community Service Award from the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Also in 1998 he received an award as Outstanding Philanthropist from the National Society of Fund Raising Executives. In 2001 he received the Patron Award from the Governors Awards for the Arts, and in 2002 he was awarded the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Boys & Girls Club.
About Air Products
Air Products (NYSE: APD) provides atmospheric, process and specialty gases; performance materials; equipment; and technology. For over 70 years, the company has enabled customers to become more productive, energy efficient and sustainable. More than 20,000 employees in over 50 countries supply innovative solutions to the energy, environment and emerging markets. These include semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. In fiscal 2012, Air Products had sales approaching $10 billion. For more information, visit www.airproducts.com.
NOTE: This release may contain forward-looking statements within the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are based on management's reasonable expectations and assumptions as of the date of this release regarding important risk factors. Actual performance and financial results may differ materially from projections and estimates expressed in the forward-looking statements because of many factors not anticipated by management, including risk factors described in the Company's Form 10K for its fiscal year ended September 30, 2011.
SOURCE Air Products