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 Wednesday, April 16, the 106th day of 2014. There are 259 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Yesterday some bold thief stole a full bolt of calico from a box in front of Wadsworth's store, where it was on exhibition. 1889 -- 125 years ago: A team belonging to Peter Priese got away from its driver and made a mad run across the Rock Island Bridge. The driver was thrown from his seat but not hurt. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Carlton Taylor was appointed district deputy grand master for the 14th Masonic District of Illinois. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Moline's million dollar municipal airport was dedicated to air transportation and the national defense by Lt. Gov. John Stelle. 1964 -- 50 years ago: THE ARGUS will be election headquarters for Rock Island County tomorrow night, and the public is invited to watch the operation. The closing of the polls at 6 p.m. will mark the start of open house in the newsroom. Visitors will see staff members receiving, tabulating and posting returns. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Few bricks actually tumbled, but no one seemed to mind as about 1,000 people gathered to celebrate the formal start of demolition at the site of a downtown civic center.