back to article Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?

When Snap filed documents last week for its IPO filing, among the interesting snippets that emerged was the cost of security for its CEO Evan Spiegel: a somewhat extraordinary $890,000. What does $890,000 buy you in terms of security and why it is necessary for the CEO of Snapchat to have that degree of protection? And how …

  1. 2460 Something

    Love how well you have broken down CEO's security spend based on how they rate in an Ego scale.

    Could explain a lot of other things about some of the bizarre decisions they make as well...

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Buffet & Gates?

      I'd like to see where Warren Buffet & Bill Gates would be on this list. They are both richer than anyone on it, yet not as big of assholes.

    2. Ian Michael Gumby
      Boffin

      Paranoia? Maybe. But there could be more too it.

      Tim Cook. Is the CEO of Apple. But if you ask anyone who's the first name that they think of when it comes to Apple... its Steve Jobs. (Steve Jobs[RIP] is still a large chunk of the brand).

      Zuck? He too is the brand. So he's a much larger and brighter light that attracts moths.

      So while there's an ego element, there's also a larger chance that Zuck has a larger crazy fan base than Tim Cook. Also more haters and more threats.

      But what do I know? I only used my FB profile while I pulled a gig there. Not because I wanted to be on FB.

      1. 's water music

        Re: Paranoia? Maybe. But there could be more too it.

        Tim Cook. Is the CEO of Apple. But if you ask anyone who's the first name that they think of when it comes to Apple... its Steve Jobs. (Steve Jobs[RIP] is still a large chunk of the brand).

        In addition to the security dividend of being wotsisname that replaced Steve Jobs, tim also benefits from the halo effect of looking the spit of UK national treasure Paul O'Grady. That's gotta help defuse a few tense security situations

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow!

    Something where Apple isn't the most expensive option... I can't believe it....

    or

    Please say it isn't true

    or

    The world is coming to an end tomorrow.

    Written strictly with tongue in sheek you understand...

    1. thomn8r

      Re: Wow!

      Something where Apple isn't the most expensive option

      If Apple were providing the security, it would be the most expensive, and the bodyguards would have the "courage" to not wear shoes.

      1. Shady

        Re: Wow!

        ...and if you got shot, you were just dodging bullets wrong.

  3. alferdpacker

    Wait... yahoo?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wait... yahoo?

      Yeah that's still a thing apparently

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If there are children who go to a school then that will entail extra security. There was criticism about Trump's youngest son not moving into the White House. By continuing at his existingl school then extra security is apparently required.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If there are children who go to a school then that will entail extra security.

      Yup. You don't see it reported often, but kidnapping does happen and however much you hate their parents, you don't wish that on any kid - even if they come out of it OK it still leaves a substantial trauma. If I had that money I'd spend it on protecting my family too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "[...] but kidnapping does happen and however much you hate their parents, you don't wish that on any kid [...]"

        A Venezuelan neighbour here in England still hasn't really got used to the fact that people will let their children play outside their house. She and her English husband moved from Venezuela partly because of the risk of kidnap of their child - and they were just ordinary people.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "[...] much you hate their parents, you don't wish that on any kid [...]"

        Some of the media have been targeting Trump's youngest son for criticism. The kid doesn't appear to have done anything that would warrant such attention. He can't help who his father is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC: while the kid can't help who his father is, looking at his older brothers, psychopathy runs in that family...

          But yeah, targeting kid this young is a dick move. Give him a chance, he may turn out to be the next Tom Wheeler.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Sounds like it is only this spring, and then he will move to the White House. Who would want to start a new school in the middle of the year as a 10 year old?

          The thing that will really rack up the costs (and make Obama's visits to Hawaii look like chicken feed) will be Trump's weekend junkets to his places in NYC and Florida. No doubt the republicans who were so outraged about Obama's secret service bill will suddenly go all quiet, because between regular weekend 'vacations' and Trump Tower security his secret service bill will probably exceed the total of all eight of Obama's years by the end of 2017!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Some of the media have been targeting Trump's youngest son for criticism. The kid doesn't appear to have done anything that would warrant such attention. He can't help who his father is.

          I got into the whole privacy gig exactly because of someone who had been kidnapped at age 11 and things did not go well. The echo of those events still haunt this person, two decades later. I also deal with families whose kids are targeted by journalists because they don't quite know how to protect themselves yet - it's simply astonishing how low some people are prepared to sink for a bit of money.

          I don't care how rich or poor someone is, they still have rights and especially when it concerns kids I have no problem with dealing with offenders *very* harshly. I have seen the results.

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Choose your enemies

    While it is unlikely that a programmer, driven mad by years of dealing with little-endian memory, will seek out the CEO of Intel. And I don't imagine there are many Samsung loyalists strapping Galaxy notes to themselves and trying to blow up Tim Cook

    Mr Zuckerberg faces risks of mad right-wingers who think Facebook is part of a democrat conspiracy, mad left-wingers who think Facebook is a corporate invader of privacy. Then even madder even righter wingers who think he is a secret zionist conspiracy and even madder even lefter wingers who think it is a fascist government conspiracy.

    Then there are all the people who are just driven mad by cat videos.

    1. stu 4

      Re: Choose your enemies

      to be fair some of us just think Facebook is for cunts.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choose your enemies

        >to be fair some of us just think Facebook is for cunts.

        But they don't have an assault rifle

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Choose your enemies

          "But they don't have an assault rifle"

          Not in the UK or Europe at least. As for the USA...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choose your enemies

        to be fair some of us just think Facebook is for cunts.

        I'm told that's Imgur and tumblr. Facebook may be controlled by someone who wants to know what everybody is doing, everywhere, all the time so it can profit from advertising - but it's bang in line with fundamentalist Christian views on sex education, i.e. there shouldn't be any.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Choose your enemies

      Certainly you don't even need to be a conspiracy theorist or any sort of nutcase, just analytical, to wonder if Zuckerberg or Eric Schmitt (The least spoken of Google boss) is more evil and wonder how much like the corporate guy in Fifth Element they are.

      Maybe the security is in case Bruce Willis or Chuck Norris comes after him, because Zuckerberg seems to have a tenuous grasp of reality, he may not realise that (a) Fictional, (b) Getting old.

      Also he doesn't seem to care about our privacy any more than Schmitt does.

      1. 's water music

        Re: Choose your enemies

        Maybe the security is in case Bruce Willis or Chuck Norris comes after him, because Zuckerberg seems to have a tenuous grasp of reality, he may not realise that (a) Fictional, (b) Getting old.

        Hang on, what's the real story here, that Bruce Willis is fictional or that Chuck Norris ages?

    3. NonSSL-Login

      Re: Choose your enemies

      Probably find there are more than a few lunatics among those who blame Facebook for their ex/cheating partner who communicated via the site in some form or another.

      That on top of those who see a page and comments on Facebook they disagree with and have evil thoughts towards the company and it's senior staff for allowing x or y to be said and not taking such content down.

      All the CEO's have the obvious kidnap and ransom worry but other than the Facebook CEO hate is more personal or on a personal level that say the hate we may have for Microsoft or Windows 10. It makes sense to spend more on the security of the founder of Facebook than someone who recently joined a hardware company as a CEO.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?"

    Perhaps it's because 20x more people (a conservative estimate) would like to kick the shit out of Mr Zuckerberg.

    1. theblackhand

      And then there's the difficulty of finding someone who will actually protect Mr Zuckerberg rather than just videoing him being beaten and posting it on FB...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @theblackhand - post of the week, ha ha.

        Have an upvote

        The original AC

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Perhaps it's because 20x more people (a conservative estimate) would like to kick the shit out of Mr Zuckerberg."

      Raises hand.

  7. sqlartist

    notice BillG isn't on the list. I met with him a few times he just drove himself and was always on his own. That was always in USA. Steve Ballmer was pretty much the same and that was the UK

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      BillG wears glasses so nobody will hit him and Balmer is protected by a hail of nuclear armed chairs

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      If you go to the Burger Master in Bellevue, WA, you can see Bill chowing down for lunch, sometimes with Melinda, and usually with some of the other original MSFT folk, but sometimes alone. Most of the time, he'll let you just sit right down with him to talk, and he'll share his fries with you. The original Microsoft offices are right across what used to be a street (Now SR-520). Pretty easy to forget that that guy has enough money to buy The Netherlands outright...

      Although it helps that his kids are old enough to look after themselves and if someone were to kill him, all the money would go right into his foundation. Doesn't really need security, because there aren't very many people that would want to harm a 61-year-old retiree / philanthropist.

  8. Steve Crook

    Sharp Objects

    Have to be removed from any space Mr Z occupies in case he hurts himself. Or a chicken.

  9. Baldrickk

    Isn't it ironic

    That the one listed here who most threatens our privacy is the most paranoid of the lot?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Isn't it ironic

      And some say we Americans don't do irony... HA!!! We just don't need talk about because there's so much of it here.

    2. P. Lee

      Re: Isn't it ironic

      The owner of the largest social network is afraid of people.

      Maybe that's why he uses computers to communicate...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In Fairness to Zuckerberg...

    ...(not a phrase I ever thought I'd type)... he has his smug little mug plastered onto the newsfeed of a billion random people almost daily, asking them if they'd like to follow him. The risk of some loony taking that a bit too literally is probably much higher than for the likes of Bezos or Schmidt.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: In Fairness to Zuckerberg...

      Although there are several 1000 Oracle customers around the world who would dearly like to meet a Mr Ellison in a dark alley with a lead pipe

      1. earl grey
        Trollface

        Re: In Fairness to Zuckerberg...

        I thought that was Col. Mustard in the library with the lead pipe...

        1. Paul Crawford Silver badge
          Gimp

          Re: @ earl grey

          No it was Miss Scarlet in the basement with a strap-on.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In Fairness to Zuckerberg...

        > Mr Ellison in a dark alley with a lead pipe

        A lead pipe would be too good for James Gosling. I'd want to make him suffer slowly and painfully for a very long time, just as he's done for me.

        I'd also beat Larry Wall, but I'm afraid he'd enjoy it too much,

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: In Fairness to Zuckerberg...

        And many, many tens of thousands of former HP employees who'd like the same opportunity with Mr. Hurd.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: In Fairness to Zuckerberg...

      "he has his smug little mug plastered onto the newsfeed of a billion random people almost daily, asking them if they'd like to follow him."

      I can think of a much, much, simpler and cheaper way to solve that problem.

  11. lglethal Silver badge
    WTF?

    Um why is this filed with the SEC?

    Shouldn't any sort of personal security be paid for by the CEO personally? Maybe if they are travelling on business, I can see it as an expense, but protecting their home? You want it protected you pay for it Zuck!

    If I was a shareholder I'd be fuming right about now...

    1. ckm5

      Re: Um why is this filed with the SEC?

      It's very normal for companies to provide security for key people - they even insure them and part of the insurance clauses often require them to make sure these people are safe. C.f. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_person_insurance

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Um why is this filed with the SEC?

        Just other examples of how CEOs and other executives became very capable of maximizing their own use of shareholders money... and their believing they are god-like creatures. In 1789 that turned into a nasty ending...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tax avoidance?

    Have "security expenses" cover your new marble and gold bathroom... you know, marble can be slippery...

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Tax avoidance?

      No, that's certain Presidents, not CEOs.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My security detail costs $0

    Maintaining my status as an underachieving nobody is cheap, easy and effortless.

    If ever El Reg started a freemium model whereby one has to earn coins from upvotes to purchase AC credits I'd probably have to up my security budget.

    Then again, if El Reg ever became a pay to win setup I'd probably go elsewhere or pay a botter in Taiwan to grind out my coins for me.

  14. JustNiz

    Maybe if Zuckerberg and his companies wern't such dicks to other people and the world in general, he wouldn't need so much security. That said, this is probably just another tax writeoff that has zero basis in reality.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Putin?

    I read somewhere that Putin has amassed $200 billion which is quite an achievement.

    I have two observations:

    1) Trump is probably very envious as he has nowhere near that amount, yet!

    2) Even in the afterlife Putin will need to pay for bodyguards :(

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Putin?

      Putin.

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Putin?

      That would be Muammar Gaddafi, he had at least $200 Billion squirreled away in banks accounts until he got his comeuppance.

      Putin being worth that much is quite likely just some lie he perpetuates to try and seem rich, just like Donald "I used to have $10 Billion dollars but managed to lose most of it" Trump.

      Of course that doesn't compare to Augustus Caesar who was worth the eye-watering sum of $4.6 Trillion dollars (In 2015 money)...

      1. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Putin?

        How much money Putin stored away through his oligarchs in exchange for his protection is really not know, of course, and it would be very dangerous for anybody knowing it to tell.

        He made unofficial travels to Switzerland - and that lead to many suspicion of how much of its treasure is stored there. Let's remember a few people are exploiting Russia natural resources to live like nabobs returning just the minimum amount to keep the population quiet... and Putin wants his share.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting choice of scale

    I wouldn't have linked it to Ego at all, no, no, no...

    I would have linked to the scale of evil....

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Interesting choice of scale

      Same difference really.

  17. ckm5

    The author is wrong - the CEO doesn't decide security

    It's rarely the CEO that decides the level of security needed. Typically, there is either an internal threat assessment team or the assessment is done by an outside consultant. Often this is mandated by either the board or clauses in key man insurance, but not always.

    Rarely does the CEO actually have much input in how much or how security is provided for him. Yes, as CEO they can approve or refuse security, but in my experience, most security teams/consultants will do their best to present the worst possible credible scenario and rarely get refused. Typically, kidnapping is the biggest worry, even if it's exceedingly rare in Western countries.

    For years Mark Z. had no security, I actually ran into once in downtown Palo Alto - he was getting coffee for a bunch of people in his team (this was when FB had it's offices downtown). I guess the threats have become greater since then.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The author is wrong - the CEO doesn't decide security

      "I guess the threats have become greater since then."

      Anyone in the public eye in the USA is probably a potential target.

      1981. Ronald Reagan's would be assassin's motivation for the attack was to impress actress Jodie Foster of whom he was an obsessed fan. He was found to be insane.

      1980. John Lennon's assassin said “I felt that by killing John Lennon I would become somebody". He was not found to be insane.

    2. Fazal Majid

      Re: The author is wrong - the CEO doesn't decide security

      You are probably right. When combined with the said threat assessment team's natural tendency to exaggerate the threat (so as to pad its own budget) and a new parent's hormone-driven paranoia about his child, that could easily explain the difference.

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: The author is wrong - the CEO doesn't decide security

      "I actually ran into once in downtown Palo Alto"

      i guess you need to be driving a bit faster. Alas, but the world might have turned out to be a much nicer place.

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Its the telescopic lense evaluation.

    Look at each of them in turn through a simulated telescopic sight and check the twitching of your trigger finger.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Its the telescopic lense evaluation.

      Is there a Grand Theft Auto mod ?

  19. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    But who are these people?

    OK, I've heard the names because I've been on this site for long enough, but I honestly wouldn't recognise anyone on the list except for the two named in the title.

    I also find it odd that the googly name on the list is their Gob-for-hire rather than either of the two founders. It takes real ego to arrive at a company after all the hard work has been done and pretend or imply that you are the most important guy there.

  20. MrDamage

    Easy to explain

    Just as a $1 bag of saline ends up costing $700 or more in US hospitals, the "social healthcare" cost of a douche the size of Zuck can easily exceed multiples of millions.

  21. zen1

    Well that's just pissing money away on most of them.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Nah.. it's trickle down economics.. the consultants and guys at the gates of the houses have to be paid.... so a good thing, right?

  22. Rainer

    Larry has a lot of homes.

    I think I read something about 10 homes.

    Securing them all and keeping them secure probably costs a couple of bucks here and there.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Larry has a lot of homes.

      Even if he only uses one - somehow he has to pay fees for all of them .....

      1. Tom 64
        Windows

        Re: Larry has a lot of homes.

        Rumor has it he has been able to clone himself and can occupy all of them at once.

  23. This post has been deleted by its author

  24. DrG

    Bill Gates

    Ran into Bill Gates at a restaurant in Seattle last year; No security. Was friendly enough.

  25. Zmodem

    because of his head

  26. Dr Scrum Master

    Lily Savage

    To our reckoning Tim Cook comes in at a bit of a bargain at just $220,000, seeing as he is one of the most recognizable CEOs in the world.

    That's not surprising given his showbiz career.

  27. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Duh...

    Headline, "Why does it cost 20 times as much to protect Mark Zuckerberg as Tim Cook?"

    Well duh.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm gonna say it if no-one else will then ..

    is the answer "because one of them is twenty times a bigger douchebag than the other ?"

  29. Pat Harkin

    Zuck's security costs more because he values his privacy. That's why FaceBook handl;es your privacy the way it does.

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