It’s a strange world we live in when tech CEOs need stringent security protection, but that’s sadly the state of affairs these days. Notably, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg needs particularly rigorous protection, a dynamic which arguably isn’t all that surprising given the tremendous amount of influence Facebook wields in the political arena and how visible Zuckerberg has become as a public figure.
Highlighting the extent of Zuckerberg’s security detail — which in itself is a reflection of the seriousness of the threats he faces — Facebook last year revealed that it spent $7.3 million protecting Zuckerberg in 2017. Not surprisingly, much of that protection centers on personal security guards stationed at his house and while traveling.
As Facebook noted in a SEC filing last year, the security costs associated with Zuckerberg “address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, Chairman, and CEO.”
BusinessInsider recently spoke to a number of individuals familiar with Facebook’s security team and revealed a number of interesting tidbits about the measures used to keep Zuckerberg out of harms way. Without question, the most intriguing tidbit centers on a “panic chute” that may or may not be in Zuckerberg’s office.
There’s also a persistent rumor among Facebook employees that he has a secret “panic chute” his team can evacuate him down to get him out of the office in a hurry. The truth of this matter remains murky: One source said they had been briefed about the existence of a top-secret exit route through the floor of the conference room into the parking garage, but others said they had no knowledge of it.
What’s more, no one is allowed to park directly below Zuckerberg’s office due to concerns that a car laden with explosives might position itself there. Additionally, some of Zuckerberg’s personal security detail reportedly dress up as regular Facebook engineers in an effort to blend in more seamlessly.
Is this overkill? At first glance you might be inclined to say yes, but the reality is that Zuckerberg — so we’ve been told — receives death threats on a weekly basis. Put simply, the security measures surrounding Zuckerberg seem to be borne out of necessity as opposed to an overwhelming sense of paranoia. BI’s full scoop on the security precautions implemented by Zuckerberg’s security team is well worth a read and can be viewed over here.