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Something has scared Facebook into spending another $10 million to protect Mark Zuckerberg

Published Jul 27th, 2018 12:19PM EDT
Facebook Zuckerberg Security Detail
Image: SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

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In response to what Facebook says are “specific threats” to the safety of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his family, the company says it’s spending another $10 million on top of what’s already a record personal security budget for its chief executive and founder.

Facebook disclosed in a security filing it will pay the $10 million in cash, which surpasses the $7.3 million the company paid for Zuckerberg’s personal security detail in 2017. A figure that itself was up from $4.9 million in 2016.

On July 24, 2018, according to the filing, a Facebook board committee “approved an annual pre-tax allowance of $10 million to Mr. Zuckerberg to cover additional costs related to his and his family’s personal security. This allowance will be in addition to the continued funding of Mr. Zuckerberg’s overall security program to cover the costs of security personnel for his protection; the procurement, installation, and maintenance of certain required security measures for his residences; and the usage of private aircraft for personal travel.
It continues, “In approving this annual security allowance, the Committee considered Mr. Zuckerberg’s position and importance to Facebook and the fact that Mr. Zuckerberg has requested to receive only $1 in annual salary and does not receive any bonus payments or equity awards … The Committee believes that this allowance, together with the costs of Mr. Zuckerberg’s existing overall security program, are appropriate and necessary under the circumstances.”
Facebook, of course, doesn’t go into further detail on what or who prompted the increase in security funding for its chief executive.
For some context behind the costs, last year’s increased security budget for Zuckerberg was apparently related to him visiting every state in the U.S. as part of a personal project. In April, meanwhile, a CNBC report used executive compensation research firm Equilar to point out that Zuckerberg’s security costs exceeded those of peers “by a large margin.”
The new $10 million bump works out to an extra $27,000 a day Facebook is spending on protecting its chief. Worth noting: It costs nowhere near that much to protect the CEO of the most valuable company in the world nor the tech CEO who’s also the wealthiest person in the world.
Apple CEO Tim Cook’s security budget last year was $224,000. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’? Just $1.6 million.
It’s certainly been a tough year news-wise for Facebook, which got pulverized by the stock market this week in the wake of disappointing second quarter earnings. The company said it’s not putting as much priority on making money at the moment — indeed, that revenue is slowing down — so it can focus on other things like improving the security of the company’s product and figuring out ad monetization for newer services, along with other nettlesome challenges.
Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.