Geoff Polites, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover who is credited with successfully turning around the company and steering it through its $2.3 billion sale to Tata Motors, has died.
Polites, 60, breathed his last in Melbourne after battling serious illness for two years.
Ford Australia president Bill Osborne said Polites had battled ill health for the past two years but remained determined to return the Ford-owned Jaguar and Land Rover brands to profitability.
"His (Polites) energy, enthusiasm and support for our business will be sorely missed" Osborne was qouted as saying by The Australian on Monday.
"Geoff's untimely passing robs his family and friends of a man who was a real inspiration to us all," said Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company.
"His drive and determination, combined with his clear sense of vision for the business, played a huge role in turning round the business at Jaguar Land Rover and returning it to profitability," he said while expressing sympathy to Polites' wife and family.
Polites reached the zenith in his 40-year career when he took over as CEO of Jaguar Land Rover in 2005.
Before being appointed CEO of Jaguar and Land Rover, Polites had been Vice President, Marketing, Sales & Service, Ford of Europe.
Born in Melbourne in 1948, Polites had a First Class Honours Degree in Economics from Monash University here.
Last month, Tata motors signed a landmark agreement with ford motor company for the purchase of Jaguar Landrover for $2.3 billion.