Bodyguards help protect high profile individuals and famed celebrities. Therefore, it would seem certain that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and cofounder of Facebook, would have his own bodyguards.
Mark Zuckerberg has bodyguards serving him at all times. By 2018, the cost of his security skyrocketed by over 50% from just two years prior. Now, this cost is growing exponentially and extending to his family as well. This is largely the result of backlash from scandals and for travelling purposes.
Continue reading below for more information about the Facebook scandal that helped drive Mark Zuckerberg’s personal protection costs up and raised the bar for his security measures.
Cambridge Analytica Data Scandal
As a result of the Cambridge Analytica data scandal which heightened awareness in early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg received “negative sentiment.” Zuckerberg is the poster child of the company, and therefore is a direct target of the public’s anger and frustration which is unceasing.
This displeasure was due to tens of millions of users’ information being breached for political purposes a few years prior, in 2015. Despite claiming removing the app and data in 2015, data was still found in 2018, online.
Mark Zuckerberg’s position in the company and continuous threats to his safety were said to warrant the large uptick in personal protective measures, including bodyguards. This pressure was so strong that he fielded ten hours worth of questioning.
A YouTube video showcasing Mark Zuckerberg’s response to this scandal can be seen below.
Bodyguard Facts and Figures
Mark Zuckerberg’s close protection officers go the extra step to don civilian clothes to stay hidden. He is also escorted everywhere in public and private, and driven everywhere he goes.
Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, also has a constant security protection program similar to Zuckerberg’s. This exemplifies the gravity of Facebook’s executives’ protection.
There is even a separate pre-tax allowance set aside for several millions of dollars for the protection of his home and family. These millions cover “procurement, installation, and maintenance of security measures of Mr. Zuckerberg’s personal residences, and the annual costs of security personnel.”
Just to have a single 24 hour a day, 7 days a week bodyguard position can take four people who all can draw over a million dollar salary. Many of the personnel filling these positions can be from the FBI for increased credibility.
This is such the case for Facebook, as an ex-Secret Service agent and part of Joe Biden’s former detail, runs Facebook’s security program.
Beyond the Home and Work
Another large driving factor for the copious amounts of money spent on Mark Zuckerberg’s security detail, involves travelling. An initial fuel to the fire was in 2017 when he announced he wanted to travel to all 50 states.
During this trip he visited “factory workers, opioid addicts, farmers and Americans of all types.” He created a podcast for it, too, which has seemingly been taken down since.
His security and travel provisions cost several more millions than is typically noted. This was whilst using his private jet and accrued higher values as it included fees, fuel, crew and catering costs.
The link below is a Facebook post highlight from Zuckerberg himself, outlining his thoughts and plans for his trip back in 2017.
Precedented or Unprecedented?
Whether or not these security measures are truly warranted is hard to say. However, it seems that the company itself largely affirms the astronomical budget.
While Apple’s Cook only had a few hundred thousand for his security and travel budget back in 2017, it is noted that he “probably doesn’t get blamed for nearly as much personal drama as the head of the world’s largest social network.”
This is a very important facet to not overlook, given Zuckerberg’s propensity to meet head executives, posts on social media, and ability to share his personal life quite freely with the public despite being at such a high net worth and high profile.