Marissa Mayer Wants To Give Every Yahoo Employee An iPhone

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Photo: Dan Farber

Even while she was at Google, New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer used an Apple iPhone.(“I use lots of phones,” she once told us.)

Now, according to two sources close to Yahoo employees, Mayer wants every employee at her new company to use one too.

To make sure they do, say these sources, she’s considering using Yahoo’s considerable cash reserves to buy one for every employee in the place. 

We haven’t been able to reach Yahoo PR to discuss all this, and we don’t know if this consideration has turned into action yet. (Update: Kara Swisher says Mayer is open to giving Yahoo employees Android phones, too.)

Buying everyone at Yahoo an iPhone 5 would boost morale, just like free food has, but that’s not the point.

A source familiar with Mayer’s thinking tells us the reason she wants everyone to use an iPhone is to “get consistency across the company.”

Apparently, Yahoo employees use all sorts of different devices – BlackBerrys, iPhones, Androids, whatever – and Mayer believes the company would be better off if it identified one device/platform on which it should make its products really shine, and got employees used to what it’s like living with that platform.

In a guest post for Business Insider, ex-Yahoo Sriram Krishnan suggested Mayer make such a move:

No more BlackBerries as the official devices at Yahoo. Everyone gets an iPhone or anAndroid. Fire the IT people who protest. Upgrade internal IT and development systems/tools to what modern startups use. Hard to expand on this without breaking confidentiality but every Yahoo engineer reading this knows what I’m talking about.

It’s another smart move from Mayer.

The cost to Yahoo would be a couple million dollars or less – chump change for a company that has billions lying around. The benefit is large. Yahoo should be innovating for the future, and BlackBerrys are not part of the future. They are part of the quickly fading past.

Now Watch: Everything About The iPhone 5

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