Harold A. "Hap" Wagner, Air Products’ fourth CEO in company history, died last week in California. He was 82.
An Oakland native, Wagner joined Air Products in 1963 after serving in the U.S. Air Force’s Strategic Air Command and earning a mechanical engineering degree from Stanford and an M.B.A. from Harvard.
H. A. Wagner joined Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in 1963 in the company’s applied research and development department. He subsequently held sales positions in the Pittsburgh, Pa. and Cleveland, Ohio districts of the Industrial Gas Division (IGD), and in 1967 he was named IGD western region manager. Wagner moved to the United Kingdom in 1970 as general manager for IGD and in 1976 became general manager of Continental Europe for the Division. He returned to the U.S. in 1980 as general manager of sales and regional development for IGD and one year later became vice president of sales for IGD in the U.S. In 1982 Wagner was elected vice president, corporate planning, and in 1987 moved to the company’s Chemicals Group where he was named vice president, business divisions. He became president of Air Products Europe in 1988 and executive vice president of world gases and equipment in 1990. In January 1991 Wagner was elected to Air Products’ Board and later that year became president and chief operating officer. He was elected chairman and chief executive officer in 1992 and retired on December 1, 2000.
A California native, Wagner received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1958 and an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1963. In 1982 he completed the Stanford Executive Program. Wagner received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering degree from Lehigh University in 1998, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws degree from Moravian College in 1999 and an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Human Letters from DeSales University in 2000. He also served in the U.S. Air Force from 1958-1961 as an officer in the Strategic Air Command.
Wagner serves on the board of directors of CIGNA Corporation; PACCAR; United Technologies Corporation; and Arsenal Digital Solutions Worldwide, Inc. He serves as chairman (non-executive) of Agere Systems Inc. He also serves on the Business Advisory Council of Maersk Inc. Wagner is a member of The Business Council, serves on the board and executive committees of the Eisenhower Exchange Fellowships and is chairman of the board of the Dorothy Rider Pool Healthcare Trust. He also serves on the board of trustees of Lehigh University and is a member of KidsPeace® National Council for Kids.