Despite all the talk of replacing Apple CEO Tim Cook over the past few days, it nevertheless appears many find his time uber-valuable. A coffee date with the tech exec will cost someone $190,000 (or more) -- all in the name of charity.
An online auction site called Charitybuzz is inviting Apple fans -- or anyone else with a taste for coffee and an interest in chatting with Cook -- a chance to bid on the coffee date. Cook will sit down with the winner for a full hour, and Apple is providing the coffee.
Price Is Right
As of the time of his writing, the bid is $190,000 for "Coffee with Apple CEO Time Cook at Apple Headquarters in Cupertino, California." On Thursday afternoon there were 54 bids. The bidding started at $5,000. The estimated value of the Cook coffee date? $50,000, according to Charitybuzz.
Auction proceeds will go to The RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. There are 19 days left to bid. When you read the fine print, you find out the actual coffee date will last between 30 minutes and an hour. The winner cannot resell or re-auction the coffee date, and the deal expires one year after the close of the auction.
The winner doesn't get to pick just any date and time. The terms state that it must be "scheduled at a mutually agreed upon date." Travel and accommodations are not included, but anyone willing to spend $200,000 or more for a coffee date probably isn't worried about travel expenses. The winner also has to undergo a security screening.
"We expect all winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately when attending an experience won at Charitybuzz," the terms read. "Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must."
Will Cook Leave Apple?
"People must really be upset with Tim that they are willing to spend that much money to give him a piece of their mind," joked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. "But seriously, he is still running a very iconic company. Celebrities do things like this every once in awhile and CEOs in the Valley have done this on and off. It's great for charity and it doesn't cost Apple any money."
With regard to Enderle's quip about some folks being upset with Cook, the board may be looking to replace him. Enderle is one who believes Cook plans an exit soon. That, he said, is because Cook has pumped up the stock price, which will only hold for a short time. If the winner doesn't collect his or her coffee date soon, then, he may be chatting with Apple's former CEO.
"Cook didn't do much to address any of the problems Apple has. With what he's done with the current programs, Apple will be much weaker than it was when it started. But the stock price should be higher, and clearly, he holds a lot of stock," Enderle told us. "It's typically when a CEO leaves they are expected to divest themselves of their stock. The stock has lost so much value in the last couple of months, I'm sure the board is looking for a change."
To bid or check the latest bidding price for coffee with Tim Cook, see Charitybuzz.