Facebook Spent $20 Million on Mark Zuckerberg’s Security in 2018

Zuckerberg has drawn a base salary of US$1 for the past three years and his ‘other’ compensation was listed at US$22.6 million most of which was for his personal security. — AFP pic

Social networking service company Facebook Inc has disclosed in a regulatory filing that it spent $22.6 million on the security of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his family a year ago. Last year, almost $20 million of that was spent just to keep him secure. That's four times what he received for the same purposes in 2016.

Facebook is trying to recover its reputation after a string of scandals over its failure to protect users' personal data, shady business practices involving third parties, and erratic moderation of content on its platform.

However, that increase is almost all attributable to higher security costs. He also did not receive bonuses or stock awards in 2018. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

Facebook paid a $10 million pre-tax allowance to cover security for Zuckerberg and his family members, along with an additional $9,956,847 in 2018.

"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".

The company also admitted to spending $2.9 million on personal security for COO Sheryl Sandberg, slightly up from last year's number of $2.6 million.

It's not hard to imagine why there was a significant uptick in costs to keep Zuckerberg secure.

It includes Russia's alleged influence on the 2016 USA presidential election and revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy hired by Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, obtained personal data from millions of Facebook profiles without consent. The social networking company reported $2.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.18 by $0.20.

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