Info-tech

Facebook spent nearly $23 million on security for CEO: Report

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on April 11, 2021

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg   -  REUTERS

In January and February 2021, the company had provided personal security for its non-employee directors in light of the Capitol attack on January 6.

Facebook spent over $23 million on security for CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2020, as per a new filing of the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as reported by The Verge.

According to a proxy statement filed with the SEC on Friday, the cost of security for protecting Zuckerberg and his family rose in 2020 owing to Covid-19 travel protocols and threats related to the 2020 US election season.

As shown in the “all other compensation” section of the proxy statement, Facebook spent over $23 million on security for the CEO in 2020.

Facebook spent “approximately $13,439,634, $10,463,717, and $9,956,847 in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively, for costs related to personal security for Mr. Zuckerberg at his residences and during personal travel pursuant to Mr. Zuckerberg's overall security program,” the company said in the filing.

“The amounts reported for each year also include an annual pre-tax allowance of $10,000,000 to cover additional costs related to Mr. Zuckerberg and his family’s personal security,” it said.

In January and February 2021, the company had provided personal security for its non-employee directors in light of the Capitol attack on January 6.

“Building on January 6, 2021, and based on the recommendation of our compensation, nominating & governance committee, our board of directors approved the provision of certain personal security services to our non-employee directors, and also approved the payment of tax gross-ups to reimburse a non-employee director for any taxes incurred as a result of receiving taxable income related to our provision of personal security services,” it said.

An "overall security program" has been authorised for Zuckerberg “to address safety concerns due to specific threats.” This is to address the “specific threats” to the Facebook CEO as a result of the “high-profile nature” of being the company’s founder, CEO, 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 company said.

“The compensation, nominating & governance committee believes that these costs are appropriate and necessary in light of the threat landscape and the fact that Mr. Zuckerberg has requested to receive only $1 in annual salary and does not receive any bonus payments, equity awards, or other incentive compensation,” as per the statement.

Published on April 11, 2021

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