Obituary: Dr Dieter Brucklacher (1939 – 2016)

Dr Dieter Brucklacher, head of the Leitz Corporate Group and executive director of VDMA in Germany, passed away on September 27 at age 77. His family and Leitz mourn a special person and an outstanding entrepreneur.

Dr Dieter Brucklacher was born in 1939 in Oberkochen, Germany. He studied physics at the University of Stuttgart and Karlsruhe from 1959 to 1965. From 1966 to 1974 he worked for the research institute “Institut für Material- und Festkörperforschung mbH” in Karlsruhe.

Dr Dieter Brucklacher was appointed Managing Director in 1975. In addition to his management tasks he crowned his academic career with a doctorate in engineering sciences at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Karlsruhe.

In 1982 Dr Brucklacher took over the position of Chief Executive Officer at Leitz. With his strategic vision he expanded the traditional company from one to two company groups; one specialising in machine tooling for wood and plastics and from the 1990s tooling for metals processing. 

Since the 2000s, under the direction of Dr Brucklacher, the company groups Leitz and LMT have become worldwide operating enterprises and are world market leading leaders in their segments. Dr Brucklacher was active in the company until his last day.

Dr Brucklacher gained a reputation in his industry. In 1997 he was elected president of the Regional Association Baden-Württemberg of VDMA (Mechanical Engineering Industry Association). In 2007 he became president of the Federal Association of VDMA in Frankfurt and at the same time the admission and inclusion to the chairmanships of the Federal Association of German Industries (BDI) and of the Confederation of the German Employers’ Associations (BDA), both headquartered in Berlin.

The knowledge and experience of this successful entrepreneur were highly sought after both nationally and internationally: in 2002 Dr Brucklacher was appointed as an honorary professor of the Nanjing Forestry University in China. He joined the supervisory bodies of many renowned companies.

In 2008 he was awarded the German “Bundesverdienstkreuz erster Klasse”. (German Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class), one of numerous awards he would receive in his lifetime. In 2014 he was awarded the honour of “Award German Mechanical Engineering“ (Preis Deutscher Maschinenbau) for his life’s work. Dr Brucklacher was an honorary citizen of his home town, Oberkochen.

As a friend and patron of music and the fine arts, Dr Brucklacher was well-known for his love for Jazz. He established the International Music Festival “Jazz Lights”, which will take place for the 27th time next spring.