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 Sunday, Sept. 21, the 264th day of 2014. There are 101 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We hear that Col. Reynolds has employed C.D. Merrill to drill for water to supply the Rock Island Barracks. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Billy Catton, famous billard player, returned to Rock Island with a view to making this city his home in the future. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The belief is growing that a great decisive battle of the World War was being fought at Verdun, a strong fortress of France on the Meuse near the French frontier, according to a London dispatch. 1939 -- 75 years ago: William Stremmel, 91, Rock Island's last Civil War veteran, died. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Workmen of the Midwest Wrecking Co., Clinton, have begun razing the historic old office building of Deere & Co., 1325 3rd Ave., Moline. The site will be used by the Deere Plow Works for its shipping and receiving department. 1989 -- 25 years ago: East Moline developer Jim Massa says the financial package for the proposed $34.5 million Quad City International Motor Speedway is down to making sure "all the i's are dotted and t's are crossed. Finalizing this will give the green light to see if NASCAR and CART, the auto racing sanctioning bodies, approve race dates.