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Speer, David

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David B. Speer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), a Fortune 200 diversified manufacturer of highly engineered components and industrial systems and consumables with revenues of over $12.8 billion. The company is headquartered in Glenview, Illinois and consists of approximately 700 decentralized operations in 48 countries and employs some 50,000 people globally.

Professional Background

Mr. Speer, 55 joined ITW in 1978 and has held various selling, marketing and general management responsibilities within the Construction Products organization. In 1984, he became General Manager of ITW's Buildex business and assumed additional responsibilities for the Ramset/Red Head business in 1987 and for the Canadian Construction Products businesses from 1988. In 1992, he became General Manager of the Paslode North American businesses.


In September 1993, he became Group Vice President of the Construction Products organization, with responsibility for the global Buildex businesses, the Canadian Construction businesses and the Paslode North American businesses. In 1994, the Paslode European businesses were added to his responsibilities and in January 1995 the Asia Pacific Construction Products businesses. In September 1995, he became Executive Vice President of the global Construction Products businesses. In 1997, he added the additional responsibilities of ITW’s Finishing Systems businesses globally. In 2003, Mr. Speer transferred responsibilities for the Finishing Systems businesses to another ITVV Executive Vice President while assuming responsibility for the global Wilsonart businesses.


In August 2004, he was named President of ITW. In August 2005, Mr. Speer was elected to the position of Chief Executive Officer and in May 2006 he assumed the additional responsibilities as Chairman.

Educational Background

Mr. Speer graduated from Iowa State University in 1973, earning a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering. In 1977, he received a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from The Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University.

Professional and Personal Affiliations

Mr. Speer is a member of the Board of Directors of Rockwell Automation and the Advisory Board of Northwestern University's Masters of Manufacturing and Management Program. He is on the Boards of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Executives' Club of Chicago, Rush Medical Center, the Museum of Science and Industry and the Economic Club of Chicago. Mr. Speer is also a member of The Commercial Club and The Business Council.


He can be reached at (847) 657-4998. 

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