Facebook spent more than $7 million protecting Mark Zuckerberg in 2017 as he trekked all over the United States

FacebookFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on his wonderful year of adventure in 2017.
  • Facebook spent $US7.3 million on security for CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017.
  • The cost was up 50% on the year before, and came as he flew all over the US on a mission to visit every US State.
  • Meanwhile, the social network spent more than $US1.5 million on private jet costs for the 33-year-old exec.

Looking after Mark Zuckerberg isn’t cheap.

In 2017, Facebook spent a cool $US7.3 million on personal security for its CEO, up almost 50% from the year before.

The major bump came as Zuckerberg spent the entirety on 2017 on a mission to visit every single US state. The $US7,326,640 that Facebook spent on Zuckerberg’s security over the year was up from $US4,891,441 in 2016 and $US4,256,004 in 2015.

His travel costs also soared, as you might expect: In 2017, Facebook spent more than $US1.5 million on private jet costs for the 33-year-old executive, up 75% on 2016’s $US870,000 travel bill.

These figures, which offer a glimpse into the extensive costs and logistics required to support one of the technology industry’s most powerful figures, were released on Friday as part of Facebook’s Proxy Statement filing ahead of its annual shareholders meeting on May 31, 2018.

Zuckerberg was paid a base salary of just a single dollar in 2017, versus the $US805,000 paid to COO Sheryl Sandberg or $US720,000 for chief product officer Chris Cox. But he’s not exactly short on cash: Forbes calculates his net worth at a little under $US66 billion.

The cost of his personal security and private flights are technically considered compensation, meaning his total compensation for 2017 is cited as $US8,852,366.

In the filing, Facebook justifies Zuckerberg’s pricey security on the grounds of the “high visibility of our company,” and cites “specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position.”

“We require these security measures for the company’s benefit because of the importance of Mr. Zuckerberg to Facebook, and we believe that the costs of this overall security program are appropriate and necessary. We paid for the initial procurement, installation, and maintenance of security measures for Mr. Zuckerberg’s personal residences, and we pay for the annual costs of security personnel,” the filing says.

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said: “Facebook’s board of directors believes that this investment in Mark’s personal security is entirely justified. He is central to Facebook’s future success and as founder and CEO of the company has a high public profile.”

While we won’t know Zuckerberg’s full security costs for 2018 until it files its next Proxy Statement in April 2019, it seems likely to be lower. Trekking all over the US to inspect factories and feed baby cows doesn’t come cheap, but his yearly challenge for 2018 is a little more affordable:Actually going to work and trying to fix Facebook after its chain of scandals.

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