Is Lunch With Apple Inc. CEO Worth $330,000?

Is a lunch with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s CEO Tim Cook worth $330 million?  Would he answer his real thoughts about activist investors and building in company in the shadow of Steve Jobs?

These questions could soon be answered, as a charity auction hosted by the web site CharityBuzz.

Donating $330,000 to have lunch

CharityBuzz does not allow individuals to see the final bid, according to the web site AppleInsider, but one of their readers snapped a screenshot of the page one second before the conclusion, showing a current bid of $330,001.00.

Call me… maybe

According to the site, Tim’s a pretty busy guy: scheduling could take up to a year based on Cook’s availability.  (Friend: “Tim let’s get some drinks after work.”  Tim: “Okay, how about the 17th… of 2015.  I’m kind of busy.”)

Cook’s availability is not the only restriction. Cook will spend one hour of his time with the person for the event, and the “winner” of the auction will have one hour with Cook and a friend.  All proceeds go to the real “winners,” a charity.

Apple: Cook’s one hour of time down close to 50% year over year

On the downside, Cook’s $330,000 take sounds good, but it pales in comparison to the $610,000 he garnered last year.  That’s pretty severe deflation, but could also reflect a tech giant moving from an exciting innovator, a high flying momentum player, to a more “traditional” tech stock.  Not so much looking to change the world as make next quarter’s earnings look good.

Considering both auctions, Cook has raised just under $1 million to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.  That’s a pretty cool charity.  Can Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) keep its “cool” brand as it goes corporate to the establishment side of the scale?  That remains to be seen.

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About the Author

Mark Melin
Mark Melin is an alternative investment practitioner whose specialty is recognizing a trading program’s strategy and mapping it to a market environment and performance driver. He provides analysis of managed futures investment performance and commentary regarding related managed futures market environment. A portfolio and industry consultant, he was an adjunct instructor in managed futures at Northwestern University / Chicago and has written or edited three books, including High Performance Managed Futures (Wiley 2010) and The Chicago Board of Trade’s Handbook of Futures and Options (McGraw-Hill 2008). Mark was director of the managed futures division at Alaron Trading until they were acquired by Peregrine Financial Group in 2009, where he was a registered associated person (National Futures Association NFA ID#: 0348336). Mark has also worked as a Commodity Trading Advisor himself, trading a short volatility options portfolio across the yield curve, and was an independent consultant to various broker dealers and futures exchanges, including OneChicago, the single stock futures exchange, and the Chicago Board of Trade. He is also Editor, Opalesque Futures Intelligence and Editor, Opalesque Futures Strategies. - Contact: Mmelin(at)valuewalk.com

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