Protecting its co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg will cost Facebook $10 million in 2018, as revealed by a new regulatory filing the company submitted with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. The 34-year-old's security detail and flights cost the firm $8.9 million in 2017, with the social media giant now approving another "annual pre-tax allowance" that's $1.1 million higher and is meant to help fund any security measures aimed at protecting Mr. Zuckerberg and his family, the filing reads.
The $10 million figure is being added to the company's existing costs of protecting its CEO which haven't been disclosed by the latest documentation. The Menlo Park, California-based firm said the cost of ensuring Mr. Zucerberg's well-being is justified due to a combination of factors, including his importance for its operations as a whole and the fact that he's only receiving $1 in annual salary and isn't eligible for any kind of equity awards or bonuses at his own request. The allowance will be paid directly to Mr. Zuckerberg, with Facebook proactively withholding tax on his behalf. The actual security measures the allowance will fund are believed to be left to the multi-billionaire's own discretion.
Facebook spent approximately $4.25 million on Mr. Zuckerberg's security in 2015, with that figure now doubling as the executive started traveling more over the last several years. The company's Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg also has a security allowance of her own, with Facebook approving $2.7 million in such expenses last year. Facebook lost over $100 billion in market capitalization on Thursday after publishing a second-quarter financial report that disappointed investors, showing user base stagnation and a plethora of warnings regarding slowing revenue growth and a significant thinning of profit margins. Facebook will hence likely be less profitable in the coming quarters as it continues investing in making its platform more oriented toward user privacy and combating fake news, as well as hate speech and other controversial content, its executives said earlier this week.