Apple CEO Tim Cook -- now, half-off

Auctioned lunch date raises $330K for the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, far short of 2013's $610K

A lunch date with Apple CEO Tim Cook went for $330,000 yesterday in an online auction to benefit the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Apple CEO Tim Cook.

The top bidder snatched the hour-long lunch for a little more than half what someone paid last year for a 30-minute coffee break with Cook. In 2013, an anonymous buyer paid $610,000 for the privilege of downing a cafe mocha with the Apple chief executive.

CharityBuzz, which ran the auction for the RFK Center, today declined to identify the top bidder or even confirm the $330,000, citing standard privacy agreements with its clients.

Instead, a CharityBuzz spokeswoman pointed out a story on MacRumors that said the bidding on Cook had stopped at $330,001, tacitly confirming the amount.

According to the auction's fine print, the winning bidder must make his or her own travel arrangements to Cupertino, Calif., Apple's headquarters and the location of the lunch. He or she will also be "subject to security screening" and must follow other guidelines.

"Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must," said CharityBuzz.

While bidding this year for time with Cook fell far short of last year's record-tying amount, the Apple CEO brought in more money than other notables. A lunch with Ben Bernanke, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, went for $70,500; someone paid $50,000 to rub elbows with former U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

Today's winner of the Cook lunch may bring one guest, and will also be able to attend a future Apple event as a Cook-designated VIP.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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