Health issues force ITW boss to take a break

Foodservice heavyweight ITW has announced that its chairman CEO, David Speer, is to take a leave of absence from the business to focus on his health.

Vice-chairman, Scott Santi, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer as a result of Speer’s hiatus, and will also take on the role of acting CEO.

Santi has spent all his career with the conglomerate and has been directly responsible for a number of the company’s industrial divisions over the years, including its food equipment business. ITW owns Foster, Hobart and the Peerless Group, as well as a number of other major commercial kitchen equipment brands.

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ITW revealed at the end of last year that Speer was suffering health problems, announcing that he would undergo treatment for a medical condition.

ITW said it has promoted Santi to president and COO until the annual meeting of stockholders in 2013 or until his successor had been duly elected and qualified.

“Both the board and I are confident in having Scott lead the Company,” said Speer. “Scott is a proven leader with extensive knowledge of ITW’s key markets and businesses. He has played a leading role in the development of ITW’s current enterprise strategy.”

ITW also announced that in the wake of Speer’s break from the company, Robert Morrison has been named acting non-executive chairman of the board. Morrison is currently a director of 3M and Aon, and has held board roles with a number of multinational food companies.

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