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A hot potato: Meta says it is increasing the amount of money it spends on Mark Zuckerberg's personal security by $4 million, taking the total to $14 million. It comes as the company eliminates thousands of jobs and its CEO talks about 2023 being the "year of efficiency."
Meta revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the annual pre-tax allowance to cover Zuckerberg's security costs has increased from $10 million, which had stayed the same since 2018, to $14 million. Last week, Meta's board of directors decided that the 40% increase was "appropriate and necessary under the circumstances."
Meta said that the higher amount was "to address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as Meta's founder, Chairman, and CEO."
The $14 million per year is to pay for "additional personnel, equipment, services, residential improvements, or other security-related costs" for Zuckerberg and his family. That's a lot of money, but the final figure for keeping Meta's CEO safe will be even higher as the filing doesn't include other security expenses. Last year the company spent $16.8 million protecting Zuck on top of the $10 million allowance for a total of $26.8 million, and it spent $23.44 million protecting its founder in 2020.
Most big tech companies spend a lot of money keeping their CEOs and other top execs safe, but Zuckerberg's costs exceed all others by a wide margin.
Meta spending millions of dollars to keep its boss and his family safe is unlikely to please the 11,000 people the company has laid off recently, a move that the CEO took accountability for. Zuckerberg's talk of Meta becoming leaner while calling 2023 the "year of efficiency" now rings slightly hollow, too.
Meta's filing also notes that its founder has a salary of just $1 per year, but his shares in the company mean his earnings are much higher. Zuckerberg might not be in Bloomberg's top ten billionaires list anymore, but his $64.2 billion fortune makes him the 18th richest person in the world.