Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg's compensation rose 53.5 percent to $8.9 million in 2017, a regulatory filing showed on Friday, largely due to higher costs related to the 33-year old billionaire's personal security. About 83 percent of the compensation represented security-related expenses, while most of the rest were tied to Zuckerberg`s personal usage of private aircraft.
Zuckerberg spent much of last year travelling after he pledged to visit all the U.S. states that he had not previously been to. His security expenses climbed to $7.3 million in 2017 from $4.9 million a year earlier.
Menlo Park, California-based Facebook paid to buy, install and maintain security measures for Zuckerberg`s personal residences, which include properties in San Francisco and Palo Alto, the filing showed.
The Facebook board`s compensation committee authorized Zuckerberg`s security programme, the filing said, "to address safety concerns due to specific threats to his safety arising directly as a result of his position as our founder, Chairman, and CEO." Zuckerberg`s base salary was unchanged at $1, while his total voting power at Facebook rose marginally to 59.9 percent.
Facebook, which has consistently reported stronger-than-expected earnings over the past two years, has faced public outcry over its role in Russia`s alleged influence over the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Earlier this week, Zuckerberg emerged largely unscathed after facing hours of questioning from U.S. lawmakers on how the personal information of several million Facebook users might have been improperly shared with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.
Stressing that there is an online propaganda "arms race" with Russia and it was important to make sure no one interferes in any more elections including in India, Zuckerberg told Congress that his own personal data was "improperly shared". Appearing before the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, Zuckerberg had told the lawmakers that his own personal data was part of 87 million users' that was "improperly shared" with Cambridge Analytica. He also conveyed his concerns about the upcoming elections globally.