Frank Leistner, former Chief Knowledge Officer for SAS Global Professional Services, had worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years at the time of his death in August 2013. He began as a systems programmer for Nixdorf Computer in his native Germany, and he worked from 1989 to 1993 for Siemens-Nixdorf in a liaison role out of Mountain View, California, focusing on the development of UNIX multiprocessor operating systems. In 1993, Leistner joined SAS and shifted his focus to application development and field consulting. Based on his experiences in the field, he founded the SAS knowledge management program in 1997. He led a whole range of knowledge management initiatives before leaving SAS in 2012.
Between 1999 and 2003, Leistner worked with the Institute for Knowledge Management led by IBM. In 2003, he was invited to the Harvard Graduate School of Education Learning Innovation Laboratory (LILA) roundtable. From 2005 to 2009, he worked with the Babson Working Knowledge Center, led by Thomas Davenport and Laurence Prusak, two of the key pioneers of knowledge management. He was a member of the board of the Swiss Knowledge Management Forum (SKMF). He presented at numerous conferences and delivered keynotes in Europe and the United States about knowledge management, talent management, and social media topics.