Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer joins Charitybuzz celebrity auction brigade

OK, what am I bid for lunch with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer on the purple and yellow campus of the struggling Internet company?

Yep, fast on the heels of Apple CEO Tim Cook’s astronomical coffee (still waiting for someone to fess up to paying $610,000 for joe with Tim), Mayer has thrown her hat in the ring (or whatever you do when you auction off your lunch hour) to help Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School.

“I’ve been inspired for years by EPACS and their incredible work transforming the lives of young people through a unique, rigorous and innovative educational environment,” Mayer said in a written statement. “I am excited to host lunch at Yahoo!’s very own URLs cafe in support of their important mission.”

It would be so immature to start with the trash talk about now the pressure is on for Mayer to beat out the bid of cross-valley rival CEO Tim Cook. So, let’s just leave it at: Now the pressure is on for Mayer to beat out the bid of cross-valley rival CEO Tim Cook.


Here’s a little taste of your dining experience. (Well, at least YouTube says this is the URLs cafe.) Update: A reader says the YouTube video is not the aforementioned URLs cafe. He directed me to this clip:


And here’s the menu. (Hard to go wrong with thebaba ganoush and grilled zucchini wrap.)

Bidding in the auction, which started this morning and runs through June 27, will start at $5,000. The website puts the value of the lunch at $25,000.

Twenty-five thousand? Come on.

Seriously, the Mayer thing is probably a better value that the Cook coffee. First, the Cook bid no doubt included the Apple premium (everything Apple is more expensive). It’s unlikely that Cook is going to say anything more revealing than “good morning.” Apple keeps anything significant and important deep in the company’s cone of silence.

And Mayer’s got a better story. She’s an undisputed superstar in tech and business — two fields that have remained male dominated. She left one of the valley’s sure-bet, darling companies, Google, for one, Yahoo, that many were measuring for a casket before her arrival.

Mayer has come in and tried to inject a little Google into Internet pioneer Yahoo, including providing free food on campus and presumably at the URLs cafe.

Which is another advantage to the Mayer auction over the Cook auction, which benefited The RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights: It’s not exactly clear who’s paying for the coffee. At Yahoo, it seems, there is indeed a free lunch.

(Photo by the Associated Press)


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