Given how he’s one of the world’s richest people, you might expect Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to pull down a hefty annual salary—and you’d be wrong. However, Zuckerberg is also compensated in ways that outpace anyone else at Facebook.
According to SEC documents, Facebook spent roughly $23 million on Zuckerberg’s private security and air travel in 2019, which is far more than the company spent in 2018 (around $20 million) or 2017 ($9.1 million). He also took a symbolic $1 in salary, along with no stock awards.
Compare that to Facebook’s second-in-command, COO Sheryl Sandberg, who made $875,385 in salary, $902,740 in bonus, $19 million in stock awards, and $5 million in “other compensation” (which likely includes private jet travel and security). Facebook’s CTO, Mike Schroepfer, made $785,385 in salary, $1.2 million in bonus, $19.6 million in stock awards, and around $52,000 in other compensation.
In terms of salary and stock bonuses, Zuckerberg also made far less than Google CEO Sundar Pichai, his biggest professional rival when it comes to designing online systems that vacuum up advertising dollars. In 2019, according to financial analytics firm S&P Global, Pichai earned $280.6 million in 2019, with the bulk of that coming from Google stock equity worth roughly $276.6 million; over the past decade, Pichai has racked up around $1 billion in stock grants.
If we’re strictly going by the salary metric, Zuckerberg is also out-earned by Facebook’s engineers. Let’s take a look at levels.fyi, which crowdsources compensation data (yes, it’s not the most scientific way of determining salary, but the levels.fyi data broadly aligns with what’s presented by Glassdoor, another crowdsourced-data site, so we’re inclined to trust it). Here’s the breakdown of senior Facebook engineer salaries, along with engineer salaries at other major tech companies:
Facebook engineers at a slightly lower career tier (E4) are still paid handsomely, pulling down a total of $247,378 per year one you factor in stock, bonus, and salary. (Of course, Zuckerberg has made it clear that any engineers who move to a region with a lower cost of living in order to take advantage of Facebook’s new remote-work policy will face a salary reduction—but given Facebook’s need to retain top talent, we’re betting the cuts won’t be that deep.)
In virtually every context, Facebook engineers are extremely well-compensated—they even “earn” more than Mark Zuckerberg. But thanks to his massive stock holdings, Zuckerberg is still worth roughly $100 billion, depending on the day, so chances are good that he’s not too concerned about that.