Marketing Head Cindy McCaffrey Leaving Google

Forget PageRank. If Google had a secret weapon (or two or three) to count toward its incredible successes, Cindy McCaffrey was a key part of the arsenal. And now, according to SiliconBeat, she's departing: McCaffrey leaving Google.

McCaffrey, vice president of corporate marketing at Google, helped create a marketing and PR team for the company to be envied -- and I speak as someone who has had to deal with numerous PR teams pitching search from companies large and small over the years.

Google's had PR stumbles, of course -- Gmail being one of the biggest to spring to mind. But the successes the company's enjoyed have far, far outweighed these.

I can remember interacting with Google when it was just Larry and Sergey and Craig, which is pretty far back to 1998. But it wasn't too long after that when Cindy arrived.

Now, as SiliconBeat rightly points out, she's the highest ranking Google exec to depart following the IPO. Good news for Cindy -- and good luck to her. As for Google, the marketing and PR team has an all new challenge -- how to spin that losing a top exec isn't a bad thing for Google.