GLENVIEW, Ill., Nov. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ITW (NYSE: ITW) is deeply saddened to announce that ITW Chairman & CEO David B. Speer has passed away after an illness. He was 61. Mr. Speer joined ITW in 1978 and served in a number of selling, marketing, and management positions. In 2005, he was elected to the position of chief executive officer and in 2006 assumed the additional responsibilities as chairman of the board of directors. Mr. Speer had been on medical leave since October 2012. Effective immediately, E. Scott Santi, 51, has been elected chief executive officer to succeed Mr. Speer. He has also been elected to ITW's board of directors. Mr. Santi was elected president and chief operating officer in October. At that time, he also was named acting chief executive officer in light of Mr. Speer's medical leave. Robert S. Morrison, 70, has been elected non-executive chairman of the board of directors. He was named acting non-executive chairman in October and has been an independent director since 2003. "On behalf of everyone at ITW, our thoughts and prayers are with David's family during this difficult time," stated Mr. Morrison. "David's energy and enthusiasm leave an indelible mark on ITW, the Chicago business community, and the many not-for-profit organizations he served. He will be greatly missed." "David's remarkable leadership will have a lasting impact on our company," said Mr. Santi. "He leaves a very strong foundation for us to build on as we move forward. On a personal level, I was privileged to have David as my colleague and mentor for over 30 years and I will miss him very much. We extend our deepest sympathies to David's family."