Facebook co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg now costs the company nearly $9 million per year just in the context of his security detail and flights on private jets, as revealed by a proxy statement filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. The multi-billionaire’s security and travel expenses amounted to $8.9 million in 2017, with his salary still being only $1. Mr. Zuckerberg also hasn’t received any cash bonuses or stock awards over the course of the last year, though the very fact that Facebook’s stock went from $115 to $190 over those twelve months made him billions of dollars richer on paper due to his existing holdings, at least until the Cambridge Analytica scandal wiped out tens of billions of dollars in Facebook’s market capitalization in recent months. Mr. Zuckerberg is still estimated to own some $66 billion worth of Facebook stock.
The aforementioned figure comes down to $1.5 million in private aircraft rental expenses and $7.3 million committed to the entrepreneur’s security detail in 2017, including the personnel posted at his house, as per the same SEC filing. Facebook is financing the travel and security expenses of its most important executive through an authorized security program designed specifically for him. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is also a beneficiary of a similar program, having incurred $2.7 million in expenses for Facebook over the course of the last year, according to the proxy statement which labels such costs as “other compensation.” As of Friday, Ms. Sandberg held over $242 million worth of Facebook stock. In 2016, she was awarded approximately $24.5 million in compensation, with a little over $2 million of that sum being given to her in cash.
Both Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg are presently on a media apology tour following the Cambridge Analytica controversy, with Facebook’s CEO also being grilled by U.S. lawmakers for roughly ten hours over the course of this week. Both vowed to make sure the company is more responsible in the future and implements stricter policies meant to ensure its platform doesn’t end up being abused by third parties for any purpose going forward.