Social media giant Facebook, in a new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that it spent more than $23 million (roughly Rs 172 crores) on CEO Mark Zuckerberg‘s security in 2020. Facebook, in a proxy statement clarified that in its annual review of the company’s security, it identified “specific threats” to Mr Zuckerberg. “He is synonymous with Facebook, and as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg,” the statement said.
Facebook’s annual review of security programs showed the cost of protecting Zuckerberg and his family shot up during 2020, mainly due to the COVID-19 travel protocol, increased security coverage during the 2020 Presidential Elections, “and other periods with increased security risk” and a rising cost for security personnel. A section of the proxy statement called “all other compensations,” shows that Facebook spend $23 million for personal security at Zuckerberg’s residences and for travel for him and his family. The CEO also got additional $10 million (roughly Rs 74 crores) to put towards security personnel and security costs. The cost of base security for Zuckerberg was up to $13.4 million (roughly Rs 100 crores), as compared to $10.4 million (roughly Rs 77 crores) in 2019.
In the filing, Facebook also said it will put forward a proposal at its May 26 shareholder meeting to offer personal security to non-employee directors from time to time. The company says it is necessary due to “ongoing scrutiny faced by directors as a result of their service on our board of directors.” According to a report in The Verge, Facebook approved personal security services for some of the non-employee directors in January and February “in light of the high level scrutiny faced by the company, its executive officers and directors, as well as the dynamic and charged atmosphere during the 2020 US elections and the attack on the US Capitol building on January 6 this year.