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, March 12, the 71st day of 2014. There are 294 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Soldiers from the barracks on the Arsenal manage to elude the vigilance of the guard nearly every day and come to town armed. In the hands of excited and perhaps intoxicated men, these weapons are dangerous. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Manufacturing's merchants and professional men of Moline were petitioning the Western Union Telegraph company to establish a telegraph office in the business area of the city. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Three Rock Island students, the Misses Eleanor Cleaveland, Dorothy McCabe and Ruth West, escaped injury when fire destroyed College Hall at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War gave a party for William H. Stremmel, the only survivor of John Buford Post 243, GAR. 1964 -- 50 years ago: The East Moline Grade School Board of Education last night granted salary increases totaling about $47,000 to teachers and staff members. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Five champion spellers from the Rock Island/Milan School district were selected after competition this week at Modern Woodmen of America. Winners are Sarah Cottay, Christopher Gilbrich, Jared Vogele, Kedric Roper and Kenny Stevenson.