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Meta Platforms spends $15.2 million a year to keep Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg safe

Mark Zuckerberg

Meta Platforms Inc. formerly known as Facebook spent a whopping $15.2 million in 2021 for keeping Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg safe which is much more than what other technology companies are spending on the security of their CEOs.

In sharp contrast to Zuckerberg’s security costs Amazon.com Inc. spent only $1.6 million for protecting Chairman Jeff Bezos in 2021, while Tesla Inc. has not disclosed any security costs for CEO Elon Musk.

Meta Platform stated that the money was spent to protect its chief executive officer at his homes and during personal travel, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Besides another $10 million was given to Zuckerberg as a pre-tax allowance for his family's security as well as $1.6 million for use of a private aircraft for personal travel.

In total, the company footed a security bill of $26.8 million for Zuckerberg, 37, and his family last year, which represents a 6% increase over the corresponding figure for 2020.

The filing attributed the higher costs to regular personal travel, protocols related to Covid-19 and higher charges for security personnel.

However, the amount accounts for almost all the compensation that Zuckerberg gets as he takes a token $1 annual salary and doesn't receive a bonus or equity rewards.

The regulatory filing states that Zuckerberg is "synonymous" with Meta amid increased media, legislative and regulatory attention, according to the filing, which said "negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg."

In the past year, the company has come under scrutiny over the release of internal documents by whistleblower Frances Haugen that suggests Facebook prioritizes profit over content moderation.

Meta also pays for security for other top leaders, including almost $9 million in 2021 to protect Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. That's not including $2.3 million for Sandberg's use of private aircraft for personal travel.

Starting in 2022, the company will also cover Zuckerberg's personal travel on an aircraft owned by him and operated by a charter company.

"For travel by Mr. Zuckerberg on the aircraft owned by Mr. Zuckerberg, we pay an amount commensurate with market rates," Meta Platforms stated.

Also read: Mark Zuckerberg loses $30 billion as Facebook shares crash, knocked off world’s Top 10 rich list