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.