And the winner is ….
Ralph Clemens Martin, co-CEO of risk management company Emirat AG.
Who on earth is that? Well, for starters, he’s a business man now $90,000 less rich after forking over a check that size to eat lunch with Marissa Mayer, the magnetic and controversial CEO of Yahoo. AllThingsD first reported the winner’s name.
Martin, who runs the Munich, Germany-based company Emirat AG, pledged $90,000 to dine one-on-one with Mayer on charity auction website Charitybuzz. Questions and pictures are allowed during the meal. There’s not much time for eating, though — the lunch date gets cut off at one hour, according to the fine print on Charitybuzz.com.
For $90,000, let’s hope Martin at least gets a to-go box.
The money will be donated to Aspire East Palo Alto Charter School, a K-6 public charter school that prepares kids from high-poverty communities to go to college and ensures graduating seniors have been admitted to a four-year university. Bidding was open internationally from June 11 through June 27.
Mayer joins a long list of business leaders and celebrities who have auctioned their time, usually in the form of a lunch date or coffee meeting, to benefit nonprofit organizations. They include Tim Cook, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, Elon Musk, Howard Schultz, Lee Iacocca, Michael Bloomberg and Jack Welch. Silicon Valley’s high-powered tech crowd have collectively raised millions through charity auctions, as adoring fans or entrepreneurs eager to pitch a business idea shell out thousands for an hour or two in the company of the tech industry’s rich and powerful.
Jack Dorsey, the CEO of mobile payments company Square and founder of Twitter, raised $31,600 on Charitybuzz to help fund entrepreneurship education for at-risk high school students. The winner, a venture capitalist based in Belgium, got to bring seven of friends to eat lunch with Dorsey at his San Francisco office.
As lucrative as it is, Mayer’s auction didn’t come close to Tim Cook’s coffee auction winnings. The highest bid of $610,000 to sip a cup o’ Joe with the big boss of Apple went to benefit the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights. Charitybuzz did not disclose the winner’s dame.
Cook’s auction broke the previous record bid of $255,000 for a chance to spend a day with Bill Clinton. That winner, Debbie McLeod of Houston, got to spend a whole day with the former President, not just a 30-minute to one-hour coffee break.
We don’t expect to hear much from Martin about his luncheon at Yahoo headquarters, because Charitybuzz instructs auction winners not to write about the event on social media and websites or talk to press. But whatever his plans, we hope Martin gets his money’s worth.