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In a nutshell: Being one of the wealthiest and most well-known people in the world can make you and your family a target. It's something Mark Zuckerberg knows about all too well, with Facebook parent Meta spending a record $26.8 million last year on protecting its CEO and his close relatives. It says the increase was necessary partly due to the increased animosity toward the social network.
Meta's regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows that the company spent more than $15.2 million last year keeping Zuckerberg safe at his homes and during personal travel. He was also given $10 million as a pretax allowance for his family's security, along with $1.6 million for the use of a private aircraft for personal travel.
The amount it costs to protect the Zuckerberg clan is rising each year. It was $23 million in 2019, $25 million in 2020, and has now reached $26.8 million. The filing puts some of this down to higher costs for regular personal travel, the Covid-19 protocols, and market increases for security personnel.
Zuckerberg no longer makes the top ten in Bloomberg's Billionaires Index
One area that is coming down is private air travel. The company spent $1.6 million on Zuckerberg's planes in 2021, less than the $1.8 million spent in 2020 and $2.9 million in 2019.
Bloomberg writes that the amount of money spent on security costs for Zuckerberg and Meta Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg ($9 million) is much higher than many other executives. Google's Sundar Pichai ($4.3 million) is the closest to Sandberg. He's followed by Snap's Evan Spiegel ($2.3 million), and Oracle's Larry Ellison ($2.2 million).
Meta notes in the filing that "negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg."
This year will see Meta also paying for Zuckerberg's personal travel on an aircraft owned by him and operated by a charter company.