Doug Baker is retiring as chief executive of Ecolab on Jan. 1.

Baker — who joined the St. Paul-based company in 1989 and became CEO in 2006 — will remain chairman of the company's board, the company said late Thursday. He will be succeeded by the company's president and chief operating officer, Christophe Beck.

"I am thrilled the board of directors has named Christophe as my successor and believe he is the perfect choice," Baker said in news release. "He has been a great leader and a great partner in advancing and building Ecolab's strategy and business."

Beck, who will join the board of directors, has been with Ecolab since 2007 in a variety of executive management positions.

Jeffrey Ettinger, lead director for Ecolab, said in the news release that the announcement "follows a well-planned and thoughtful succession process."

"Christophe Beck is a proven leader and seasoned business executive, and we are excited about his ability," he said.

Ettinger also lauded Baker for his tenure.

"We want to extend our profound thanks to Doug for his exceptional performance as CEO over the last 16 years," Ettinger said. "It has been a period of great change and strategic development for Ecolab."

Under Baker, Ecolab's market capitalization increased by more than eight times as it added more than $50 billion in value to the company, the release said.

Ecolab provides water, hygiene and infection prevention solutions to customers from factories to office buildings and commercial food service.

Baker orchestrated some of the largest acquisitions in Ecolab's history — including its largest, the $5.4 billion acquisition of Nalco Holding Co. in 2011 that moved Ecolab into more market segments beyond its historical cleaning, sanitization and pest-control businesses.

In 2019, the company reported $14.9 billion in revenue and was Minnesota's ninth-largest public company by revenue.

While the company has had a surge for some of its cleaning and disinfecting products during the coronavirus pandemic overall, revenue for 2020 is expected to be around $13 billion.

During his tenure, Baker has been a visible community leader in St. Paul and statewide and an advocate for the corporate sustainability movement.

Ecolab helps its customers achieve their sustainability goals. It also has shown its own commitment to achieve a positive water impact and has said it will halve its own carbon emissions by 2030 and meet a net-zero carbon-emissions goal by 2050.