Douglas Baker Ecolab Inc. Executive chairman, former CEO

Total compensation: $73,799,062 for the year ended Dec. 31

Salary: $1,326,125

Nonequity incentive pay: $0

Other compensation: $123,393

Exercised stock options: $64,127,215

Value realized on vesting shares: $8,222,329

New stock options: 118,437

CEO pay ratio: 331 to 1

Median employee pay: $51,114

Total 2020 shareholder return: 13.2%

Note: Baker retired as chief executive on Jan. 1 and was succeeded by Christophe Beck. Baker remains executive chairman of the board.

In his last year as CEO, Baker realized $73.8 million in compensation, the most in his 16-year tenure. That was almost $40 million more than in 2019.

Nearly all the 2020 compensation, or $72.3 million, was in the form of previously issued long-term equity awards that were either exercised or vested during the year.

Baker's equity award gains were mainly from stock options that were more than seven years old. Baker exercised more than 509,000 shares that were granted at prices ranging from $71.54 per share to $107.69 per share. Ecolab's shares are trading for around $209 not far from all-time highs of more than $230 last June.

During Baker's tenure as CEO, Ecolab's revenue more than tripled as it grew both organically and through several billion-dollar acquisitions. The company made its biggest deal, the $5.4 billion acquisition of Nalco Holding Co., in 2011.

Baker also kept the corporate headquarters in downtown St. Paul, though he moved it from a Wabasha Street tower to the former headquarters of St. Paul Travelers.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, Ecolab canceled merit pay increases for management and employees. The board of directors did not make adjustments to the annual cash incentive goals that were set before the pandemic. Baker and senior management, with some exceptions, earned no bonuses for the year. The board also did not change the amount of new long-term equity awards they had planned to offer.

Patrick Kennedy