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Biography Karl Schlecht

Born on 28 October 1932 in Bernhausen-Filderstadt near Stuttgart, Germany.

General Certificate of Secondary Education at Schloss Hohenheim, followed by high school (Abitur) at the Wilhelms Oberschule in Stuttgart.

Studies in mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Stuttgart.

The subject of his thesis was the plaster pump and spraying machine, a tool he himself built and assembled in his father's garage in 1957, and which marked the beginning of his eventual rise to market leadership and international recognition.

Prior to his graduation in 1957 as "Diplom Ingenieur", Schlecht had already founded his own one-man engineering office and had begun to issue construction licenses for his machine. 

1958:  Karl Schlecht founded the company "KS-Maschinenbau". As a pioneer in the field, the company soon emerged as the market leader in the production of innovative and forward-thinking plastering machines.

1961:  The "Putzmeister Werk Maschinenfabrik" was founded with the slogan "Putzmeister is plastering masterly".

1962: Putzmeister becomes undisputed market leader in Germany. 

1997: He began developing modern concrete pumps for ready-mixed concrete: in less than 2 years Putzmeister attained 40% of the market share in this field. 10 years later, Putzmeister was acknowledged as the most significant global manufacturer of concrete pumps and mortar machines and placed an increasing emphasis on a value-based corporate culture. In subsequent years, Putzmeister established 18 subsidiary companies in important industrialised and industrialising countries with the aim of gaining local customer's trust and appreciation.

1998: At the age of 65, Schlecht turned the operative management of Putzmeister over to external management and assumed a position as Chairman of the Board of the Putzmeister AG. 

In 2007, the globally-operating Putzmeister-Group with 4000 employees attained a consolidated annual turnover of 1 Bn€.

Over the past 50 years, successful market growth and favourable market conditions in Germany lead to a high percentage of company equity and served as an important element in maintaining the trust of partners and business associates.

Reaching his 75th year, Schlecht withdrew from the Board of the Putzmeister AG and focused his attention on the two foundations - KSG (Karl Schlecht Gemeinnützige Stiftung) and KSF (Karl Schlecht Familienstiftung) - which had been founded in 1998. As the Chairman of the Board of the Foundations, Schlecht retained full voting rights with the Putzmeister Holding GmbH, the umbrella organisation of the Putzmeister Group.

2005: Schlecht was appointed as an Honorary Member of the University Senate at the University of Hohenheim University of Hohenheim.
2006:  Schlecht was honoured with a doctorate honoris causa from Tongji University in Shanghai.

During the financial and economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, the collapse of important international construction markets caused the company's turnover to fall to 450 M€, and marked the first year in which Putzmeister recorded a loss in its 50-year company history.

Thanks to the company's successful restructuring, Putzmeister managed to attain an annual turnover of 680M€ in 2012, preliminary in the present growing markets Turkey, China, India and Brazil.

Since 1983, Schlecht is a convinced Rotarian and founding member of the Esslingen-Filder Rotary Club (now the Rotary Club Stuttgart Flughafen/Messe) (1984). The 4-question probe (now 5-question probe) becomes the confidence code of his company.

Since 1998, Schlecht has proven extraordinary corporate initiative in the renewable energy sector, with specialised companies both in Germany and abroad.

Using the financial means of the KSG, Schlecht is an active "foundation-entrepreneur" and supports numerous projects:

2001 Chair for Entrepreneurship at the University Hohenheim
2003 the first Chair for Wind Energy at "his" Stuttgart University
Since 1998 annual donations for the Weltethos Foundation Tübingen - Prof. Dr. Hans Küng. The objective is for the Putzmeister company culture to benefit from the World Ethos Idea.
2011 foundation of the World Ethos Institute at Tübingen University.

As of 2011, Schlecht's diverse business interests are managed by the KS-Corporate (KSC).
In November 2010, Schlecht was presented with the Bundesverdienstkreuz (order of merit) and in 2011, he was honoured with the Diesel Award for most successful innovative achievement by the German Institute for Inventions.

In January 2012, the two global market leaders in terms of concrete pump production - Putzmeister and SANY Heavy Industry Co. Ltd. (Changsha, China) - merged. The Karl Schlecht Stiftung (KSG) sells their 99%-Putzmeister shares to SANY.

Karl Schlecht was appointed to adviser to the SANY Group by the SANY chairman, Liang, Wen-Gen.

In April 2012 SANY participates in the KSG Project "Global Economic Ethic Institute" at the reputed Beijing University and Tübingen University (WEIT) which aims at the respect for human rights and values.

Until 2013 the KSG sponsors numerous scientific projects:

1. Continued sponsoring for the SEH (Chair for Entrepreneurship Hohenheim - 100% in the past)
2. Chair for Wind Energy SWE (100%)
3. World Ethos Institute Tübingen (100%)
4. World Ethos Beijing (100%)
5. Institute for Energy Efficiency in the production (EEP) at Stuttgart University
6. Leadership Excellence Institute at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen (LEIZ) 

Personal background: Karl Schlecht is married to his second wife, Brigitte. Their children have all followed their professional callings and have gone their individual ways. What little time is left for leisure activities is filled with Schlecht's favourite pastimes, namely activities in the company's training and edcational sector, as well as the foundations' numerous projects. In the foreseeable future, these projects will focus on the World Ethos Institute at the University fo Tübingen. In addition thereto, Schlecht enjoys reading, leisure sports and many other activities.

More about Karl Schlecht can be read in the book by Dr. Paul Fritz with the title: "Im Leben gewinnen".

E-mail: stk(at)ksfn.de, Fax: 0711-599-404,
Karl Schlecht Stiftung, Gutenbergstraße 4 - D-7262 Aichtal
Orig.datei: L:\KSF\MGMT\int\PROJ\SP\9526 KSF\1_Beirat und KS\KS\Curriculum vitae KS_GB
Update: 140428-comboni

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