Last year, Facebook spent nearly $20 million to keep its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, along with his family, safe. That's four times what he received for the same purposes in 2016.
2018 was a phenomenally eventful year for Facebook, having spent most of it dealing with the Cambridge Analytica scandal. When it wasn't explaining why the data privacy fiasco happened and why it kept it hidden from public knowledge, it was trying to fight fake news, stopping the spread of hatred, violence, and sexism across feeds, and shielding Zuckerberg from animosity.
Keeping Mark Zuckerberg Safe Sure Does Cost A Lot
As TechCrunch notes, the CEO only receives an annual salary of $1 and does not earn an annual bonus. However, he gets millions in "other compensation," a bulk of which traces to security costs. In a SEC document published recently, it's revealed Zuckerberg earned over $22 million in other compensation last year, up from over $9 million the year prior.
About $2.6 million of that is compensation for his personal private jet travels, and nearly $20 million, as previously mentioned, is related to personal security costs.
Security Costs Breakdown
More specifically, Zuckerberg was given $9,956,847 in pre-tax 2018 income for both travel and residential protection. In addition, Facebook gave him $10 million to cover "additional costs" related to his and his family's personal security.
"Because of the high visibility of our company, our compensation & governance committee has authorized an 'overall security program' for Mr. Zuckerberg," reads the document, which goes on to say that this amount was given "to address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, CEO, Chairman, and controlling stockholder."
It's not hard to imagine why there was a significant uptick in costs to keep Zuckerberg secure. Again, 2018 was an incredibly rough year for Facebook riddled with a handful of privacy scandals kickstarted in March by the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which a political consultancy firm obtained private and sensitive information of more than 80 million accounts to target them political ads. There was also, as CNBC notes, this episode with Definers Public Affairs, where the social network was found to have used a firm to generate negative stories about competitors and plant them in the press.
Zuckerberg has yet to comment on the subject of security costs. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg earned $3.8 million in other compensation last year, on the other hand, and $2.9 million of that went to her personal security costs.