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\$600K For A Cup Of Coffee: Apple's Cook Is A Hit At Auction

Apr 27, 2013
Originally published on April 27, 2013 10:21 am

The bidding hasn't closed yet, but a charity auction of a cup of coffee shared with Apple CEO Tim Cook has already attracted offers of more than \$600,000 — more than 10 times its estimated value of \$50,000. Cook is one of several celebrities taking part in the auction, which benefits the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

The coffee klatch, currently valued at \$605,000, will take place at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. And the price may rise even higher — the auction closes on Tues., May 14.

According to the auction's terms, the bidder who wins the chance to meet Cook for coffee will have one year to align schedules with the man who was on Time magazine's short list for Person of the Year in 2012. The winner may bring a guest to the meeting, which will last between 30 minutes and one hour.

We do not know what kind of coffee the Apple cafeteria serves. Perhaps they use the famously expensive "poop" coffees, in which the beans are collected after they've passed through the digestive systems of an animal — such as a civet (as we've reported on NPR), or an elephant. There is no word on whether refills are free.

The high price of a one-hour coffee session with Cook made us curious about how that compares to what the Apple CEO makes as an hourly rate. So we embarked on an exercise of (notoriously unreliable, we warn you) journalism math.

In 2012, Cook reportedly received a total compensation of \$4.17 million, according to Bloomberg. That means that if he worked 40 hours a week — something that's far from a guarantee, but we need a ballpark figure — Cook made \$2,004.81 an hour.

To calculate that figure, we used the widely accepted standard of 2,080 work-hours per year. Which means that if every one of Cook's hours were valued as highly as this coffee chat, he would earn more than \$1,258,400,000 — yes, more than \$1.25 billion — in a year.

As of Saturday morning, having coffee with Cook is the only experience in the RFK Center auction at the Charity Buzz website that's priced at more than \$10,000. Other offerings include a week's stay at a California resort, and a chance to share screen time with actor Chris Hemsworth in a Michael Mann film.

Coffee has been on our minds here at NPR lately — see our stories from Coffee Week.

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