Image: Mark Zuckerberg. Source: Facebook
Facebook Inc (Nasdaq: FB) shelled out more than $23 million in 2020 on security for its founder and chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg, according to a proxy statement filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last Friday.
The social media giant spent $13.4 million on a security detail to protect Zuckerberg “at his residences and during personal travel” on private aircraft. Another $10 million, pre-tax, was allocated to cover additional costs related to his and his family’s personal security.
According to the filing, that amount was based on a comprehensive security program that was implemented by the company to address threats to the safety of Zuckerberg and his family due to his role as founder, chief executive officer, chairman and controlling shareholder.
“We believe that Mr. Zuckerberg’s role puts him in a unique position: he is synonymous with Facebook and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg,” the filing says.
In 2018 and 2019, Facebook spent $19 million and $20 million, respectively, on Zuckerberg’s security.
Facebook said the sum went up in 2020 “due to regular personal travel, costs relating to security protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased security during the 2020 US elections and other periods with increased security risks and market increases in the costs of security personnel.”
“We believe that the scope and costs of these security programs are appropriate and necessary,” the filing says.
It should be noted that Zuckerberg's salary is just $1.00 per year, a choice he made in back in 2013, according to Business Insider. He has said the decision was about doing “the most possible good with what I have.”
Nonetheless, Zuckerberg is still one of the wealthiest people in the world due to his ownership of Facebook shares.
According to the proxy statement, Zuckerberg holds 13% of the company’s economic interest, but wields 58% of its voting shares.
Among the shareholder proposals disclosed in the proxy statement is one for an independent board chair. The proposal contends that the board as it currently is composed, with Zuckerberg as chair, “weakens Facebook’s governance, accountability and oversight of management.”
Source: Equities News