Jaguar Land Rover CEO Geoff Polites has lost his long battle with cancer, it was announced last night.Polites, 60, who died peacefully in his native Australia was one of the key architects in Land Rover's current global success and was predicting that he would also make Jaguar profitable this year. He was also playing a crucial role in the transition of the companies from Ford to Tata.The Jaguar Land Rover boss was an extremely highly regarded manager with huge experience in the automotive business, most of it garnered from a 40 year career with Ford. Prior to his JLR role he was the sales and marketing director for Ford of Europe. He had also run Ford of Australia.“Geoff’s untimely passing robs his family and friends of a man who was a real inspiration to us all,” said Ford boss Alan Mulally, “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.Ford of Europe chairman Lewis Booth added, “His leadership of the team that has put the Jaguar Land Rover business back into profitability has been exceptional. Geoff has given Jaguar Land Rover a solid foundation and established the strong management team it needs for a successful future. We will miss our friend very much.” David Smith, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief financial officer, will take over as the acting chief executive officer until a successor is appointed.Polites was well known to many of the Autocar team and our sincere condolences go to his family.