Among the many billionaires and millionaires in the world, Mark Zuckerberg is probably the most high-profile of them all. Going by the amount of negative press he gets every other week, it’s also likely safe to say that Zuckerbeg, the founder and CEO of Facebook is among the most hated people today.
While Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are a lot richer than him, Zuckerberg remains the face of Big Tech that’s out to ruin the world order as it exists. Sure, Jeff Bezos has also had his share of criticism but Zuckerberg’s Facebook has been accused of rigging elections and bringing down governments.
Given that the high profile CEO is also the face of the brand, it’s safe to assume that Zuckerberg has been at the receiving end of several threats. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the company spends considerable amount of money on his and his family’s security.
We know this because, being a publicly listed company, Facebook is obliged to share all information with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC every year. The latest filing reveals just how much money Facebook spent on the security of Mark Zuckerberg and his family.
How much does Mark Zuckerberg spend on his security?
Technically, Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t spend any money whatsoever on his security. “Given that he takes just $1 as salary from Facebook, it’s safe to say that he isn’t the one spending money on his personal security.
So who makes sure that Mark Zuckerberg and his family are safe? Well it’s Facebook itself. According to the proxy statement that Facebook filed with the SEC in April 2021, Facebook revealed that it spent more than $23 million last year alone. The statement, which is also supposed to justify such spends, revealed that since Zuckerberg is synonymous with the company, any negative sentiment regarding Facebook gets associated with and often transferred to Zuckerberg.
Facebook typically reviews the security programmes of its senior officials every year. The filing also revealed that the expense more than doubled from last year when Facebook spent some $10.4 million on ensuring the safety of its CEO. This year the expense went up by $13 million. Facebook said that the reason for the rise in costs was primarily driven by COVID-19 travel protocols and the 2020 US elections when his security coverage increased manifold. The filing also revealed that there were “other periods with increased security risk” but has not revealed what those periods were.
The company also justified these expenses by saying that the committee it appointed believed that they were appropriate and necessary in the light of the threats that Zuckerberg was receiving and because he takes home just $1 in annual salary while also not receiving any bonus “bonus payments, equity awards, or other incentive compensation”.
The proxy filing also revealed that the company intends to offer personal security to non-employee directors on select occasions, since they were under scrutiny simply by virtue of serving on the board of Facebook. It had already offered some non-employee directors security through January and February this year following the attack on the US Capitol Building on January 6.