Facebook spent $23M on Mark Zuckerberg's security in 2020
Facebook said Zuckerberg faces 'negative sentiment regarding our company' that 'is directly associated' with him
Facebook spent more than $23 million on security for CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg during its 2020 fiscal year, the social media giant disclosed in an annual proxy filing on Friday.
The security costs comprised most of the $25 million Zuckerberg received in various forms of compensation last year. Facebook spent more than $13.4 million on "personal security for Mr. Zuckerberg at his residences and during personal travel. Zuckerberg also received $10 million pre-tax allowance to cover additional security equipment and personnel for his family.
The security costs rose slightly compared to 2019, when Facebook spent about $10.4 million as well as his $10 million allowance. Facebook said Zuckerberg is in a "unique position" because "negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated" with him.
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"Increased costs in 2020 were primarily due to regular personal travel, costs relating to security protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic, increased security coverage during the 2020 U.S. elections and other periods with increased security risk, and market increases in the costs of security personnel," the filing said.
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Zuckerberg earned a salary of $1, matching the base compensation he received in fiscal 2019. Facebook said he "did not participate" in its executive bonus program in 2020. He received an additional $1.8 million in compensation related to his personal use of a private plane.
Facebook said its security officials had "identified specific threats to Mr. Zuckerberg." The company has included nearly identical language regarding security for Zuckerberg in past proxy filings.
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The social media giant has faced unprecedented scrutiny in recent years over its internal practices. In December, a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission each launched antitrust lawsuits in a bid to unwind its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.
In 2019, Facebook paid a $5 billion fine to the FTC following the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.