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ITW Chairman, CEO David Speer dies after illness

NEW YORK (Reuters) - ITW Chairman and chief executive officer David B. Speer has passed away after an illness, the company announced on Sunday. He was 61.

The Glenview-based industrial equipment maker said E. Scott Santi, 51, has been elected chief executive officer to succeed Speer, effective immediately. Santi has been the acting chief executive officer in light of Speer's medical leave since October.

ITW also said Robert S. Morrison, 70, was 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," Morrison said in a press release.

"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."

Shares of ITW ended up 0.2 percent at $58.87 on Friday.

(Reporting By Angela Moon; Editing by Doina Chiacu)