Executive one-on-ones are a hot commodity. You can look to Apple CEO Tim Cook's recent offer to share a coffee--and up to one hour of his time--with the highest bidder as an example.
The bidding for a coffee date with Apple's head honcho, originally valued at $50,000, started with a $5,000 offer Wednesday morning on the celebrity fundraising site Charity Buzz and has since climbed to more than $100,000. For a coffee.
But Cook isn't the first entrepreneur to raffle off his highly-coveted time for a good cause. Here are four other high-profile execs bringing new meaning to the phrase "time is money."
Every year, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway auctions off a lunch meeting to raise money for the San Francisco charity organization, Glide, which serves warm meals to the hungry and operates a church in the city's troubled Tenderloin district. Buffett, who was turned on to the charity by his late wife, has raised over $14 million for the organization since 2000.
And Glide hasn't been the only party to benefit from this annual fundraiser. Ted Weschler, a former managing partner for Penninsula Capital Investors, won both the 2010 and 2011 auctions--and later landed a job overseeing Berkshire's investments.
Sir Richard Branson
In December, Sir Richard auctioned off a five-day vacation for two on his private Necker Island during the Necker Cup tennis tournament--another of Branson's creations--which included a dinner with the entrepreneur and tennis players Novak Djokovic and Tommy Haas. Though the winners and final bid from the auction were not disclosed, the Necker Cup raised over $500,000 in a silent auction, which benefited the National Tennis Foundation, Virgin Unite, and other leading ATP player charities.
Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SolarCity fame is currently raffling a 10-person tour of his SpaceX Center in Hawthorne, California to benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, a global advocacy group. The tour includes an inside look at the "fabrication and assembly of rockets, engines, and spacecraft" and a face-to-face meeting with Musk himself. An anonymous bidder placed an opening bid of $5,000 on Wednesday morning, but the host site Charity Buzz estimates the tour to have a value closer to $25,000.
The mayor of New York City and founder of the Bloomberg media empire auctioned off a lunch meeting in New York last November to benefit the Humane Society of the United States. It appears that a lunch with the politician didn't quite warrant Buffett's multimillion-dollar pricetag, but Bloomberg still collected an impressive $185,000 for his cause.