Karl Schlecht, born in Bernhausen-Filderstadt in 1932, is a German entrepreneur. Schlecht studied mechanical engineering at the Technical University of Stuttgart and wrote his thesis on the plaster pump and spraying machine that he built in his father’s garage in 1957. While still in school, Schlecht established his own engineering office, the precursor to the KS-Maschinebau company, the latter soon to emerge as the market leader in the production of innovative plastering machines. In 1961, the company was renamed “Putzmeister Werk Maschinenfabrik.” Over the next few decades, Putzmeister grew to a global operation, acknowledged as the world’s most significant manufacturer of concrete pumps and mortar machines, boasting over 4000 employees and an annual turnover of one billion euro in 2007.
At the age of 75, Schlecht withdrew from the Board of the Putzmeister to focus his attention on the two foundations—KSG (Karl Schlecht Gemeinnützige Stiftung) and KSF (Karl Schlecht Familienstiftung)—both were founded in 1998. In 2005, Schlecht was appointed as an Honorary Member of the University Senate at the University of Hohenheim. In 2006 Schlecht was honored with a Doctorate honoris causa by Tongji University in Shanghai. In November 2010, Schlecht was presented with the Bundesverdienstkreuz (order of merit), and in 2011, he was honored with the Diesel Award for the most successful innovative achievement by the German Institute for Inventions.