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Mark Zuckerberg’s security and travel cost Meta nearly $27m in 2021

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

It’s not easy being the head of one of the world’s most valuable companies, nor does it come cheap.

For Mark Zuckerberg, the bill for keeping him and his family secure, along with the costs of private jets for travel, came in at just shy of $27m in 2021, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The $26.8m that Meta devoted to the tech billionaire’s security and travel detail is a leap from earlier years, when in 2020 it was $25.2m and for 2019 it was $23.4m.

The filing does not specify the exact breakdown of what the security entails for Mr Zuckerberg and his family, which would include protection for his spouse, Priscilla Chan, and their two children, Maxima, 6, and August, 5.

It does, however, note $15.1m of the nearly $27m was dedicated to the Facebook founder’s personal security at both his residences and during times of personal travel.

An additional annual pre-tax allowance of $10m was used to cover additional security costs for Mr Zuckerberg’s family’s personal security.

The remaining funds, approximately $1.6m, were “related to personal usage of private aircraft”, the filing notes.

Mr Zuckerberg’s personal travel expenses notably came down slightly in recent years, the filing reports. In 2020, it totalled $1.8m while in 2019 it ballooned to $2.9m.

The company details the reasoning around the Meta chief’s security compensation package as being necessary due to the “high visibility of our company” and that its set up is intended to “address safety concerns due to specific threats to [Mr Zuckerberg’s and Sheryl Sandberg’s] safety”, which, they say, have arisen from their highly public positions as CEO and COO, respectively.

“We believe that the scope and costs of these security programs are appropriate and necessary,” the report continues.

“We believe that Mr. Zuckerberg’s role puts him in a unique position: he is synonymous with Meta and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg.”

The Meta chief is what the report describes as “one of the most-recognized executives in the world”, denoting that this is “in large part as a result of the size of our user base and our continued exposure to global media, legislative, and regulatory attention”.

In comparison to other large tech enterprises, Meta’s personal security spending for their chief officer dwarfs their rivals.

For instance, Amazon, a company that’s ranked as the fifth most valuable company by market cap in the world, according to companiesmarketcap.com, spends approximately $1.6m a year – the same amount Zuckerberg used in 2021 for personal travel – keeping Jeff Bezos safe, The Daily Beast reported.

And Apple spent just $310,000 on CEO Tim Cook’s personal security, despite being the world’s most valuable company by market cap, landing the top of a pack of six tech giant’s that are valued at more than $1 trillion.

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