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Private Jets, Bulletproof Panels and Secret Passages: What It Really Takes to Protect These Tech Billionaires

We’ve all heard that great power brings great responsibility, but sometimes it can also bring a serious threat to your life — especially if you’re one of the most well-known billionaires on Silicon Valley.

When we talk about the tech world, we automatically think that these wealthy CEOs spend more time in their multi-million dollar companies than in their lavish mansions. Silicon Valley has become a home to the world’s richest and most famous businessmen on Earth. And most of them are on criminals’ hitlist.

Some of tech’s renowned billionaires include Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. These powerful business moguls aren’t just worth billions of dollars but are also safe keepers of their companies’ biggest secrets and highly sensitive information which, if fallen in the wrong hands, could become disastrous for the entire world.

In order to protect these C-executives, their teams must spend an astounding fortune on security and protection every year to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

Jack Dorsey

Twitter's CEO's security spending increased after giving his testimony to the Court.

Twitter’s CEO’s security spending increased after he gave his testimony in the Court

According to Twitter’s SEC filing in 2016, the social media company spent $65,506 to give protective detail and residential security to CEO Dorsey and his family. In return, Dorsey, who’s also the chief executive of Square, received no compensation or salary up to this day.

As of 2018, Dorsey earned only $1.40 in exchange for his security detail. You’re probably wondering why Dorsey, who makes $0 from his companies needs protection. Well, the man is worth $5 billion, so you can imagine why he’s paranoid about his safety! 

Tim Cook

Apple spent an astounding $310,000 to protect its newest CEO, Tim Cook, in 2018. But for the world’s largest and most famous tech company worth a trillion dollars, $310,000 is a pretty humble amount, especially when compared to other CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg, whose annual security bill tallies up to $20 million.

Jeff Bezos

The world’s current richest man may be known for his frugal lifestyle despite the massive fortune he accumulated, but Bezos spares no expenses when it comes to his safety. According to Forbes, Bezos spends an astounding $1.6 million on his personal security team every year.

Bezos finally launched his philanthropic causes after receiving criticisms from the public.

Bezos spends a lot more on his security than he does on philanthropy

Aside from that, he also gives bonuses to his team individually for ensuring his safety. Recently, Bezos also installed bulletproof panels on his office that can withstand multiple shots from perpetrators. Amazon spent $180,000 on these bulletproof panels.

Sundar Pichai

Meanwhile, Google spends $1.2 million on Sundar Pichai’s protection. His security expenditures doubled in 2018, contrary to his previous budget of only $680,000.

The increase in his protection detail followed the Nasim Najafi Aghdam assault on YouTube’s headquarters in San Bruno, where she killed three people before killing herself. YouTube also stepped up their security following the incident.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg’s security expenses skyrocketed after the Cambridge Analytical data breach scandal that exploded last year. Unlike in 2017, when Facebook only spent $2.5 million on its CEO’s protection, Zuckerberg’s security bill totaled at $10 million in 2018.

Mark Zuckerberg's security expenditures increased following the explosive Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018.

Mark Zuckerberg’s security expenditures increased following the explosive Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018

The company also spent an additional $10 million to keep his family safe. It means that the security team escorts Mark and his family 24/7. There are also rumors that Mark has a secret escape passage in his conference room so that he can flee if things get chaotic.

As of this writing, the company declined to confirm or deny the existence of the escape route. Facebook says that since Mark is the face of the company, the threats they receive following the scandal are mostly directed towards the CEO himself. So the board agreed to increase Mark’s security budget to keep him from harm’s way.

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