- Facebook spent more than $US25 ($AU34) million on CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2020. He collected a salary of $US1 ($AU1).
- More than $US23.4 ($AU32) million of that amount was for personal security for Zuckerberg and his family.
- The combined security for ten other top tech execs, including Sheryl Sandberg, was $US23.3 ($AU32) million.
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Facebook spent more than $US23.4 ($AU32) million on security costs for CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2020, according to the company’s annual executive compensation report.
Zuckerberg receives a pre-tax annual allowance of $US10 ($AU14) million for his family’s security, and in 2020, Facebook spent an additional $US13.4 ($AU18) million on personal security for Zuckerberg “at his residences and during personal travel pursuant to Mr. Zuckerberg’s overall security program,” the filing said.
In total, Facebook’s expenditure is greater than the combined cost of providing security for ten other top tech execs, which an analysis of CEO security during the pandemic by Protocol tallied up to $US23.3 ($AU32) million.
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg was the runner-up in the Protocol tally, with more than $US7.6 ($AU10) million spent on her safety in 2020. Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai came in third with $US5.4 ($AU7) million.
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was compensated $US1 ($AU1).6 million by his company for security, while he paid additional costs himself. Meanwhile, Uber paid $US120,000 ($AU162,762) to set up CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s home office, and has assigned a security specialist to his house, Protocol reported.
In 2019 Facebook spent $US20.4 ($AU28) million on protecting its founder, including $US10 ($AU14).4 on personal security and the annual allowance of $US10 ($AU14) million for his family’s security. The company also spent $US2.9 ($AU4) million on his private jets.
The $US3 ($AU4) million rise in security spend from 2019 to 2020 was “primarily due to regular personal travel, costs relating to security protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased security coverage during the 2020 US elections and other periods with increased security risk, and market increases in the costs of security personnel,” Facebook said.
“Mr. Zuckerberg’s role puts him in a unique position,” the company wrote in the filing. “He is synonymous with Facebook, and as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg.”
Zuckerberg accepted a $US1 ($AU1) salary from Facebook, as he has in previous years, and didn’t receive any bonus payments or incentive compensation, the company said in the filing.
Facebook and other social media platforms faced a surge in misinformation on their sites when the pandemic started and the US elections kicked off. After former President Donald Trump falsely claimed that the election was stolen, including via his Facebook page, and triggered rioters to storm the US Capitol, the social media site suspended him indefinitely.
In March, Zuckerberg faced Congress with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to talk about spread of misinformation on their social media platforms. Zuckerberg also faced the Senate in November to be challenged by lawmakers about decisions Facebook took around the election.