Marissa Mayer says Yahoo to provide free smartphones to employees

Yahoo will provide all of its employees with a brand-new smartphone of their choice, according to a recent corporate memo by recently hired CEO Marissa Mayer.

AT THE TIME: Yahoo's Levinsohn leaves, as expected, after Mayer gets top job

The memo, which was initially released by Business Insider, says that employees will be able to select an iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 820, Samsung Galaxy S III, HTC One X or HTC EVO 4G LTE. Yahoo will also offer plans that cover voice and data on the devices.

The notable absence from that list, of course, is BlackBerry -- long the dominant force in the enterprise smartphone market, the devices have plummeted in popularity as rivals Android and iOS have surged. Yahoo's decision to transition away from BlackBerries as corporate phones is unlikely to improve matters for beleaguered manufacturer Research In Motion.

Mayer, who was a senior executive at Google before taking the reins at Yahoo, has brought some trappings of the search giant's corporate culture to her new post -- including free lunch and an avowed emphasis on creating a more collaborative, relaxed environment.

She's also made several important decisions on Yahoo's finances of late, with AllThingsD reporting last week that the company would soon receive $4.5 billion for its sale of Alibaba Group assets after taxes, giving it a much-needed infusion of cash. As well, Mayer is believed to have been behind the decision to nix the rumored sale of Yahoo's Right Media online advertising division, keeping the group in-house despite the potential for further revenue boosts from a sale.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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