Now that the news is out that Cindy McCaffrey is leaving Google, I can post an appreciation. I first met Cindy when I was a cub reporter for MacWeek in 1987. She handled PR for a portion of Apple, and it was my job to try to get anything I could on the company, no matter what. It was Cindy who would call me, exasperated, when I acquired a pre-release version of Apple’s new Mac IIci and published a photo of its motherboard on the front page.
And it was Cindy who campaigned internally on my behalf when I came up with the idea, 15 years later, of writing a book that featured search as its subject and Google as a major narrative actor. With Cindy at the helm of communications and marketing, Google has enjoyed perhaps the most unprecedented run of good press in modern corporate history. (Cindy also sidestepped the marketing excesses of the bubble era, a decision that was not easy to take in 1999-2000). She’s been at Google since the middle of 1999, and certainly deserves the break she plans to take (I believe sailing for a few weeks with her husband is the first item on her agenda). She told me recently that she’s looking forward to reconnecting with family, friends, and “cooking her own dinners.” I wish her well, and expect it won’t be long before we hear from her again. She’s too good – and too restless – to retire forever.