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John McAdam, right, interviewed by Ed Lazowska

F5 Networks CEO John McAdam has joined the board of Tableau Software, the fast-growing Seattle data visualization company. The appointment — the third to Tableau’s board this year — may signal that the 9-year-old company is prepping for a 2013 initial public offering. (Tableau was one of five that I suggested could make the IPO leap this year).

McAdam has led F5 for the past 12 years, taking the company over the $1 billion revenue mark this year.

“Tableau’s management team has created a culture of innovation that has resulted in revolutionary products with tremendous flexibility and ease of use,” said McAdam in a release. “It’s a rare breed of company that has the opportunity to make a real difference in a huge global market. I look forward to helping.”

Earlier this year, Tableau named Brooke Seawell, who serves on the boards of Informatica Corporation and NVIDIA, and Ren Jurgensen, a former director at Isilon Systems and Varolii, to the board. Tableau has posted eight consecutive years of record sales, with sales expected to top $100 million this year. That sales growth, coupled with the recent board appointments, has made Tableau a strong candidate for an IPO.

In fact, at the Evergreen Venture Capital Association’s annual dinner last night, several of the attendees mentioned Talbeau as a possible IPO candidate for 2013.

Earlier this year Tableau CEO Christian Chabot said that the company has a very simple mission.

“We believe there is a really big opportunity to see and understand data, and that’s it. It is that simple,” he said.  “In fact, we think making it easy for people to see and understand data — like the kind of data that is in spreadsheets and databases and files — we believe that is a unsolved problem in modern computer science, much like Web search was before the advent of Google.”

Previously on GeekWireReady to IPO? Tableau Software’s bookings top $58 million for first half of 2012

[Editor’s note: Tableau Software is a GeekWire sponsor]

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