Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

When I Say Jump … Marissa Mayer Gives Yahoo Employees Up Fitness Bands

It’s clear that CEO Marissa Mayer has been trying to get the employees of Yahoo to start moving faster to innovate. And now, she is also doing it quite literally, apparently giving its more than 11,000 employees an Up fitness band.

According to sources, the company will be handing out the trendy wrist devices, which track movement, sleep patterns and other data and which also allows you to share information with a group of friends about your activity (or lack thereof, in my case!).

This is just the kind of flashy, morale-boosting move that Mayer has become well-known for, including giving staffers new smartphones and free food. (Even though these are typical benefits at all Internet companies in Silicon Valley, they were not at Yahoo pre-Mayer.)

It’s not clear if Mayer herself is paying for the gift — it is her first-year anniversary at the company — or Yahoo is. The bands cost $129.99 retail and come in a range of colors. And while I am told there is not a purple version of the Up device being offered here — get on it, Hosain and Yves! — presumably Mayer got a big group discount for all the Ups she bought.

The gesture makes sense, since Mayer recently joined the board of the San Francisco startup, Jawbone, which makes Up. Jawbone also created and sells the iconic Jawbone wireless mobile headset and the Jambox wireless speakers.

A Yahoo PR person did not return an email request for a comment, natch!

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle