You Won’t Believe How Much These Tech Giants Spend on Personal Security

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As required by law, Apple recently filed its annual proxy statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for 2018. The document, accessible in-full via PDF here, presents a full-disclosure of the iPhone-maker’s finances, including executive compensation, expenditures, and more for the year.

Tim Cook, the company’s CEO, earned a total compensation of $15.68 million in 2018, which included $3 million in base salary, $12 million in “non-equity incentive compensation,” and around $682,000 in “other compensation,” according to the document.

High Cost Security

While there are few additional details concerning the nature or breakdown of Cook’s “other compensation,” an interesting new report put-out by Wired this week revealed the personal security detail protecting Apple’s CEO cost an estimated $310,000 in 2018 — which certainly fits well within the ~$680k margin of “other”.

What’s most interesting about the report is that while Cook’s personal security may seem astronomically high — it actually pales in comparison to the amount other Silicon Valley heavyweights spent protecting their most valuable employees.

Wired provided the following infograph, which cites similar SEC filings submitted by firms including Facebook, Amazon, Intel, Google and others to illustrate the disparities.

Cook’s personal protection is actually the second least expensive among the Silicon Valley CEOs at precisely $310,981.

Notably, that’s about $86,000 less than the company spent protecting Cook in 2017, but nearly to $400,000 less than Apple spent protecting him in 2015.

Alphabet, meanwhile, spent more than double that amount ($637,538) protecting its current CEO, Sundar Pichai, as well as $296,353 more on the personal security of former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt.

Other Silicon Valley firms including Amazon and Oracle reportedly spent about the same [~$1.6 million] in 2018 protecting their Chief Executives, Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison.

Chip-maker Intel spent around $1.2 million on the personal security of former CEO, Brian Krzanich.

Facebook Fame?

While these stats are jaw-dropping already, perhaps the most notable revelation from the data was that Facebook spent a whopping $7.3 million protecting its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, in addition to around $2.7 million protecting its Chief Financial Officer, Sheryl Sandberg, this year.

Of course, while absolutely enormous, Facebook’s expense protecting its top executives may be in someway, somehow the result of how much [negative] publicity both Zuckerberg and Sandberg have received in recent months.

There’s no corroboration of that, but it certainly leads one to wonder how the social media-giant wound-up spending so much more on personal security than its rivals in the Bay Area — but perhaps even more, why, according to at least one industry consultant, the cost of Zuckerberg’s personal security detail is expected to surpass $10 million this year.

“I’d put that $10 million among the top five highest in the country,” says Arnette Heintze, CEO and founder of Chicago-based consulting firm Hillard and Heintze, whose clients include numerous Fortune 500 companies (but not Facebook).

“And from what I’ve [read in the media about Facebook], that seems to be an appropriate level of expense.”

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