Mark Zuckerberg got $24.4m in ‘other compensation’ in 2023

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Mark Zuckerberg is Meta’s lowest-paid employee—at least on paper. The tech entrepreneur’s base salary for 2023 was a humble $1 dollar, while the median worker at the tech giant took home a staggering $379,000.

In comparison, the average tech worker can expect to earn between $35,000 to $120,000 depending on the role, according to Indeed.

But don’t be fooled by Zuckerberg’s humble base pay and the fact that he didn’t take home a bonus last year—the billionaire still cost the company millions in compensation. 

According to a proxy filing statement published ahead of the annual meeting of shareholders at the end of May, the Facebook founder received $24.4 million in ‘other compensation’—much of which covered his security costs. 

Zuckerberg’s security costs hit by ‘year of efficiency’

In 2023, Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp, revealed that it had increased Zuckerberg’s personal security pre-tax allowance by 40% from $10 million in 2018 to around $14 million.

The announcement came just after the company laid off 11,000 employees, the equivalent of 13% of its workforce, leading various publications to link the two. 

However, since then the company has slashed thousands of more jobs, while Zuckerberg’s spending on security has actually slightly decreased. 

In 2022, the social networking chief splashed out $14,829,245 on personal security “at his residences and during personal travel,” according to the proxy filing. Meanwhile, last year—during Meta’s “year of efficiency”—his security bill came to a total of $9,431,139. 

The compensation payment also includes almost $1 million “for costs related to personal usage of private aircraft.” 

While justifying the cost, Meta explained that it has identified “specific threats” to Zuckerberg as the face of the brand, including being targeted by angry customers. 

“We believe that Mr. Zuckerberg’s role puts him in a unique position: he is synonymous with Meta and, as a result, negative sentiment regarding our company is directly associated with, and often transferred to, Mr. Zuckerberg,” the company wrote in the filing.

“Mr. Zuckerberg is one of the most-recognized executives in the world, in large part as a result of the size of our user base and our continued exposure to global media, legislative, and regulatory attention.”

Fortune has contacted Meta for comment.

The $1 salary club 

Zuckerberg’s been part of the $1 salary club—which has previously included Larry Page, Larry Ellison and the late Steve Jobs— since 2013, making his salary earnings just $11 in over a decade. 

But he’s seen his personal wealth balloon. In February, his net worth soared by $28 billion in just one day thanks to Meta’s better-than-expected fourth quarterly results.

After a year of being in cost-cutting mode, including dismissing about 21,000 workers, the company doubled its operating margin to 41% and decreased expenses by 8% year over year. 

As a result of Meta’s turnaround success, Zuckerberg—whose wealth is largely tied to his stake in the social media giant—has leap–frogged Elon Musk as the world’s third-richest person, according to data from Bloomberg.

As of April 23, Zuckerberg’s net worth is $176 billion—up from around $78 billion this time last year.

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