That the main executives of the most important companies in the world have an important security operation around them, is not illogical. After all, we are talking about people who have a very important level of public exposure and fortunes valued at several tens of billions of dollars; therefore, it is possible that their safety —and that of their families— is at greater risk than usual. And setting up operations of this magnitude is clearly not economical. According to Bloomberg, Meta allocates almost 27 million dollars a year to the protection of Mark Zuckerberg, an amount that far exceeds what other companies allocate to take care of their top managers.
The data comes from a document presented by the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp before the US Securities and Exchange Commission. According to it, the company allocated 15.2 million dollars in 2021 for the security of Zuckerberg in his properties and personal trips. Another $10 million was for the protection of his family during the same period, in addition to an additional 1.6 million to cover the businessman's transfers by private plane.
Meta ensures that the security program around Mark Zuckerberg is in tune with the security risks that concern his role as a central figure in the company. "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." "says the document filed with the SEC.
Another notorious fact is that the almost 27 million dollars a year allocated to his security is the only additional compensation received by the founder of Facebook. Let us remember that Zuckerberg receives a symbolic salary of one dollar a year and has a fortune valued at almost 79 billion dollars as the majority shareholder of his company.
Mark Zuckerberg's security costs much more than other 'top' entrepreneurs
If we consider that in 2021 Meta had revenues of 118 billion dollars, 27 million for Mark Zuckerberg's security is a crumb. Even so, it is a much larger amount than that allocated by other large US corporations to protect their most visible managers.
Google, for example, spent $4.3 million over the last year protecting Sundar Pichai, its CEO. While the operation behind Larry Ellison cost Oracle 2.2 million in the same period; and Amazon allocated just 1.6 million to take care of Jeff Bezos, its founder and former CEO.
And the gap gets even bigger when we compare Mark Zuckerberg's amount of security to Warren Buffett's. The 91-year-old investor, with a fortune of more than $127 billion, dedicated only $273,000 for his protection in 2021. While keeping Parag Agrawal safe cost Twitter a modest $63,000 annually.
However, Meta does not only dedicate large sums of money to the protection of Mark Zuckerberg. The company also allocates a very important amount for Sheryl Sandberg, its chief of operations; last year, the security measures around the executive cost about 9 million dollars.
It is clear that we are talking about astronomical figures that, very possibly, many of us will never see in our entire lives. However, the international exposure of the highest-profile executives comes at a price, and it's not necessarily monetary.