Thierry Breton, CEO of French IT company Atos, says he hasn't sent an internal business email for three years, and now he's making his employees follow suit by replacing internal email with instant messaging as well as a collaborative "Facebook-style" interface. In a Wall Street Journal profile on the numerous ways Atos is shaking up its business model, Breton says he'd rather people visit, call, or even text message him rather than send emails, which he believes "cannot replace the spoken word." Breton's plan is to have his employees off email in 18 months, and has statistics to back up his decision: a study deemed only 15 percent of internal emails at Atos "useful." The company employs over 74,000 people in 42 countries and is reportedly the largest IT firm in Europe — a move this bold for a company this size is not something you see every day. We'll see if Breton can stick to his word.

Thanks to glypho from the forums!