Former Dial Corp. CEO Herb Baum, who was beloved by employees during his time at the headquarters when it was located in Scottsdale, died from COVID-19 on April 20.
Baum’s death was announced by the Furry Friends Adoption Clinic & Ranch in a statement on the nonprofit organization’s website.
Baum was the chairman of the board at the animal rescue organization located where he lived in Jupiter, Florida, which is north of Palm Beach, according to the statement.
“Herb embodied the true meaning of selflessness, support and leadership for Furry Friends,” the organization’s president Pat Deshong said in the statement. “There are no words for us to express what Herb has meant to our organization.”
Well-liked during his time in Scottsdale
Baum was the chairman and CEO of Dial, the consumer-products company known for its soap, at its headquarters in Scottsdale for almost half a decade until he retired in 2005, according to an April 2005 story from The Arizona Republic archives.
Baum was credited with saving Dial Corp. by turning it into a “smaller but healthier company” with higher share values, but he told The Arizona Republic in 2002 that he credited his employees with the success.
Archived articles from The Republic in the early 2000s describe Baum as an “affable” man who worked “in a sunny office filled with toys” and “invites his employees over for hot-dog lunches.”
“It’s the people who drive this company,” Baum said in a Republic article from May 3, 2002.
Baum focused on creating a welcoming environment for Dial employees, telling them to stop by his office “anytime you want,” and “Hot Dogs with Herb” became a regular occurrence.
“A happy company is a successful company,” Baum told The Republic in 2002.
In a 2001 story from The Republic, Baum said his first job was delivering nuts and bolts for Keystone Skrew Machinery in Chicago in the summer of 1956. He said the customer-service values he learned in that job stuck with him over the years.
Parent company Henkel AG, which purchased Dial Corp. in 2004, shuttered the Scottsdale headquarters and relocated operations to Connecticut in 2016.
Known as a successful business leader
Baum was the former COO of Hasbro Inc. before starting at Dial in 2000, according to a 2003 story from The Republic archives.
Throughout his career, Baum served on various corporate boards, including those of Meredith Corp., Midas, PepsiAmericas, and Playtex Products, according to the Des Moines Register, which commemorated him as a notable alumnus of Drake University.
Baum was a former member of the Drake Board of Trustees, and in 2011 he and his wife created the Herb and Karen Baum Chair of Ethics and the Professions and an accompanying symposium through a $2 million endowment to Drake.
He also served as president of Campbell Soup North and South America and chairman and CEO of the Quaker State Corporation, according to the statement from Furry Friends.
“He touched all of our lives in an important and meaningful way, and helped thousands of animals,” Deshong said in the statement from Furry Friends. “We have not only lost our chief and captain but more importantly a dear friend and family member.”
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