Polites is credited with leading the team that returned the Jaguar Land Rover business back to profitability and steering it through its ongoing sale process to Tata Motors.
David Smith, Jaguar Land Rover's chief financial officer, will take over as the acting chief executive officer at Jaguar Land Rover until a successor is appointed.
Alan Mulally, president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company, said: "Geoff’s untimely passing robs his family and friends of a man who was a real inspiration to us all.
“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.
"Geoff ensured that Jaguar Land Rover was not distracted and continued to focus on the fundamentals of the business during the recent sale process, despite at the time also fighting his own personal health battle.
“He was a trusted colleague and someone who was much respected not just by his peers but by all who had the privilege to work with him. Our sympathies are with his wife and family at this difficult time."