David Speer, longtime chairman and CEO of Illinois Tool Works Inc. and a member of the Deere & Co. board of directors, has died after a lengthy illness. He was 61.
Mr. Speer was elected to the Deere & Co. board in 2008. He had been on medical leave from ITW since October and was replaced by E. Scott Santi as CEO and Robert Morrison as nonexecutive board chairman, the company said in a statement on Sunday.
Mr. Speer joined the company in 1978 and held a number of sales, marketing and management positions. He was elected CEO in 2005 and became board chairman in 2006.
In addition to his positions with ITW and Deere & Co., Mr. Speer was a trustee of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and on the board of the Northwestern University, Rush Medical Center, United Way of Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, CEOs Against Cancer, Rockwell Automation, the Executives' Club of Chicago and Junior Achievement of Chicago. He is board chairman of the Museum of Science and Industry and the Economic Club of Chicago. He is also a member of The Commercial Club and the Business Council.
Mr. Speer is a graduate of Iowa State University and the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. He has two grown children and one grandson and lived in Winnetka with his wife Barbara. He is survived by his mother and six siblings, including Debbie Ruthhart, of Rock Island.
Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.