Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has increased spending on his personal security and that of his family to $14 million (S$18.7 million ) in 2023, up from US $10 million in the past few years, amid cost cuts at the company.
Meta stated in a recent filing that the increased allowance together with the costs of the CEO’s existing overall security programme was appropriate and necessary under the circumstances.
The move comes at a time when Meta has laid off thousands of its workforce as well as significant cost cuts at the company in what Zuckerberg dubbed 2023 as a “year of efficiency”.
With a $1 basic salary and no stock based rewards, the majority of Zuckerberg’s income was made up of security expenditures. While Meta disclosed the budget is $14 million, it stated that it will probably spend much more than that to provide security to Zuckerberg and his family.
In 2021, the company spent over $15 million on costs associated with the protection of its CEO while he was at home and on personal business. It is interesting to note that Zuckerberg in the past has been faced with scrutiny for spending more on security than comparable technology executives. In 2021, Meta spent over $26.8 million on security-related expenses. In a recent filing, the company revealed that its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg receives an annual salary of US$1 and does not receive any other compensation.
In it’s fourth quarter (Q4) result, Meta surpassed revenue expectations, bringing in $32.2 billion. Number of Facebook users also managed to inch up in the last quarter with the platform hitting 1.98 billion daily active users and 2.96 billion monthly active users as of September 2022.
Those gains combined with Meta’s aggressive cuts and its promise of an efficient 2023 drove stock prices up around 15% in trading after-hours. Meta took a notable beating in 2022’s market turndown, losing as much as 60% of its value over the course of the year.
In its Q4 earnings call, the company’s CEO Zuckerberg therefore revealed that Meta will be very proactive about cutting projects that aren’t performing or may no longer be as crucial. The tech giant is also reducing spending as it builds new data centers that are intended to be more efficient while still able to power the company’s various artificial intelligence technologies.
He therefore revealed that the management theme for 2023 is the ‘Year of Efficiency’, noting that the company will be focused on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization. Zuckerberg’s commitment to cost cuts and efficiency is a sign that increasing profitability is important to Meta, which was known as a growth machine prior to last year’s slump.
Meanwhile, recent reports reveal that Facebook’s parent company Meta has delayed finalizing the budgets of the teams at multiple levels, as it prepares for a fresh round of layoffs.