Klaus Lenhart, CEO of LEKI Lenhart GmbH, dead at 56
For those of you who may use or know LEKI poles for hiking or skiing, Klaus Lenhart was the man behind the company for nearly the last four decades until his tragic death from a plane crash. He was an avid pilot and award-winning acrobatic pilot. He was the co-pilot, training another younger pilot in his two-seater plane on Monday April 30 when mechanical failure caused the plane to crash suddenly after take-off. It was apparently so low the occupants didn’t have a chance. We send our condolences and our best wishes for the family and the company.
What follows is a message from his family:
One of the most charismatic and successful people in the Outdoor Industry is dead. At the age of 56 the visionary Klaus Lenhart died in Kirchheim/Teck, Germany in a tragic air accident caused by mechanical failure. He leaves behind his wife and two adult children.
Driven by ingenuity, courage and energy he developed countless innovations and patents in the field of trekking poles, ski poles and glove systems.
In the company founded by his parents, Klaus Lenhart served his apprenticeship as a toolmaker. At 19 years old he took over the management of the company together with his older sister (21 years old) and his brother (23 years old). In 1984 he took control of the company as sole managing director together with his wife, Waltraud, and set his goal to establish LEKI as a global technology and market leader. He was admired as a mentor and inspired all those who had the opportunity to meet him. Lenhart managed his company employing approximately 250 people with a great sense of responsibility. He put a very personal stamp on his company, which will be continued in his spirit.
Klaus Lenhart’s passions, besides his family and company, were skiing and flying. In both sports he was very committed in encouraging new, young talent. He generously supported the disabled and those less fortunate.
The memorial will take place on May 9th, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. in the St. Martin’s Church in Kirchheim unter Teck.
Please refrain from personal condolences – record books of condolence will be available in front of the church.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the “EVA-shelter for the homeless” or the Battered Women’s Shelter in Kirchheim.