Yahoo! Giving Smartphones to All Employees, Includes iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is among a list of smartphones that newly appointed Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer is offering to all of the company’s employees, according to an internal Yahoo! memo obtained by Business Insider late Saturday. All part- and full-time employees will be able to choose an iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920.

Yahoo Marissa Mayer Smartphones iPhone 5

Ms. Mayer, who left Google to assume the CEO position at struggling Yahoo! in July, has already begun a major overhaul of the company’s corporate structure and culture. A primary goal for the first-time CEO is to unify and modernize the company’s communication and mobile tools.

Yahoo! previously distributed Blackberries to key company employees but with RIM’s fading fortunes and a dramatic shift in the smartphone market, a change was needed. “Ideally, we'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do,” the memo states.

In addition to receiving a modern smartphone, employees’ phone and data plans associated with the devices will be completely covered by the company. “People are happy,” a source at Yahoo! told Business Insider.

After the new phones have been purchased and provisioned, Yahoo! will cease IT support for Blackberries on its corporate network, following the trend of many companies around the world who have abandoned the one time smartphone king.

The full impact of Ms. Mayer’s plans for Yahoo! will likely not be felt for several quarters, if not years, but the rapid changes to the company that the young executive has thus far implemented give Yahoo! employees and investors reason to be optimistic after many years of failed policies and leadership.

The full text of the memo obtained by Business Insider is below:

We have a very exciting update to share with you today - we are announcing Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun!  As of today, Yahoo is moving off of Blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries.  A few weeks ago, we said that we would look into smartphone penetration rates globally and take those rates into account when deciding on corporate phones. Ideally, we'd like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do.

Moving forward, we'll offer you a choice of devices as well as provide monthly plans for the data and phone. 

The smartphone choices that we are including in the program are:

  • Apple iPhone 5
  • Android:

Samsung Galaxy S3

  • Windows Phone 8:

Nokia Lumia 920

We're getting started right away and taking orders starting now.

We hope that Yahoo! was able to get its iPhone 5 orders in early. With the phone selling out within an hour of launch, it may be a while before Yahoo! employees can ditch their Blackberries.