Originally Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2012, 5:47 pm
Last Updated: Nov. 20, 2012, 6:34 am

Deere & Co. director David Speer dies

Comment on this story

Staff report

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.