Christmas came very early (or very late) for employees of business networking site LinkedIn
: CEO Jeff Weiner on Wednesday gave all 3,500 employees of the company their own 32GB iPad mini
during the usual biweekly "All Hands" meeting. The company said later the move was a "small gesture" to thank workers for their efforts and accomplishments in gratitude for their contributions. LinkedIn grew 81 percent year-over-year in 2012 and beat Wall Street estimates in the most recent quarter.
The iPad minis have a practical use at the company beyond just being a reward: LinkedIn may opt to have employees use the devices to improve communication and workflows or develop apps for the LinkedIn service itself or just customized in-house apps for office functions. Weiner likely got the idea from a colleague, YouSendIt CEO Brad Garlinghouse: he gave his employees iPad minis as their Christmas bonus
. The move would have cost LinkedIn some $1.5 million at retail pricing for the 32GB tablet.