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Tracy Daw

Is RealNetworks becoming a farm system for the Seattle region’s aspiring public companies?

Tracy Daw, who resigned as RealNetworks’ chief legal officer earlier this week, has been hired as general counsel by INRIX, the Kirkland-based traffic technology company that has made no bones about its plans to eventually file for an IPO.

“We are thrilled to have him join our executive team,” said Bryan Mistele, INRIX President and CEO, in a news release announcing the hire. “Tracy’s extensive experience in corporate governance, securities, M&A and intellectual property will be invaluable as we grow and expand our business worldwide.”

As GeekWire reported earlier today, Bellevue-based Apptio — another potential IPO candidate — has hired former RealNetworks CEO Bob Kimball as its new executive vice president of operations and corporate development.

An INRIX spokesman said it’s still the company’s intention to become a public company, but it doesn’t have any details to share on possible timing. However, he added, one of the things that made Daw an attractive hire was his extensive experience at RealNetworks — including overseeing all SEC-related matters, quarterly earnings, financial communications, proxy statements and other public disclosures.

Daw was also a key player in RealNetworks’ sale of a large patent portfolio to Intel for $120 million, and was awarded a $200,000 bonus from RealNetworks for his work on that deal.

A spin-off from Microsoft Research, INRIX’s traffic data now powers most of the major navigation apps and is now available in 30 countries. Solidly profitable and growing, the company bought its main European rival in August for $60 million and raised a $37 million venture capital round last summer from venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Previously: Here are 5 tech companies from Seattle that could take the IPO plunge in 2012

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