Facebook spent more than $7 million to protect CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2017, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings, potentially showing growing concerns of the company leaders safety.
Zuckerbergs security costs are way higher than others in the industry, and went up from the roughly $4,890,000 spent in 2016. Amazon, for example, paid $1.6 million to secure CEO Jeff Bezos in 2016, virtually the same as 2015.
“Because of the high visibility of our company, our compensation & governance committee has authorized an overall security program for Mr. Zuckerberg to address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, Chairman, and CEO,” the SEC report reads. “We require these security measures for the companys benefit because of the importance of Mr. Zuckerberg to Facebook, and we believe that the costs of this overall security program are appropriate and necessary.”
Such official payments contribute to safety measures and installations for Zuckerbergs personal residences. The corporate leaders personal jet travel is also part of his security agenda, costing $1.5 million in 2017 and thus amounting to around $8.9 million in total. With the prior three years worth of expenses combined, Facebook spent approximately $20 million on security and travel for Zuckerberg.
While its not perfectly clear what caused this surge in 2017, there are a couple of factors that could at least play in part.
Zuckerbergs cross-country quasi-stumping tour is one likely component of the increased costs, as the Silicon Valley bigwig tried to cultivate goodwill in parts of the country not usually visited by tech executives. Somewhat less likely due to its more recent intensification — but still possible — the publics swelling skepticism, even hatred, of Silicon Valley and particularly Facebook could have a hand in the substantial uptick. (RELATED: No, Mark Zuckerberg Is Not Running For President)
Facebook was recently considered the least trustworthy of protecting users personal information following a spate of unseemly revelations and happenings, which, along with another poll, shows a fast changing mindset for Zuckerberg and the company once ostensibly regarded as darlings of the American dream and economy.
Essentially, as Facebook grows in power and is correspondingly thrusted into public policy and societal debates — both through its own doing and others — so too does the publics apparent cynicism of the tech giant. Immense security costs, especially relative to competitor counterparts, may just be one of the many effects of such a shift.
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