Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now the company’s lowest-paid employee, according to its latest proxy filing. Zuckerberg — worth $27.8 billion mostly in Facebook stock — requested an annual wage of $1 in 2013, joining the ranks of a handful of other very wealthy CEOs who take a symbolically negligible base pay.
Zuckerberg, who earned $770,000 in combined salary and bonus in 2012, is now in good company among giants of the tech sector. Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, worth roughly $30 billion a piece, have been drawing a $1 salary for a decade now. Hewlett-Packard’s Meg Whitman (net worth $2 billion) and Oracle’s Larry Ellison (net worth $51.5 billion) also take just a buck in base pay. But unlike Zuckerberg, Brin and Page, the H-P and Oracle head honchos earn significant compensation in other ways. Whitman actually earned $17.6 million in stock and other performance-based awards in 2013, while Ellison was paid $79.6 million almost entirely in stock options — a dip from the $96 million he hauled in in 2012. Dividends paid on the Oracle shares Ellison owns added another $255 million to his annual take (before taxes).
Silicon Valley doesn’t hold the patent on $1 salaries, though. Richard Hayne, CEO of Urban Outfitters, is another billionaire in the $1 salary club — though he did draw a whopping $5,000 bonus in 2013. Oil and gas baron Richard Kinder, worth $9.3 billion, reaps $1 in total compensation from his energy company Kinder Morgan. In the biotech world, Robert Duggan, CEO of anti-cancer drug maker Pharmacyclics, thinks even $1 is a bit too rich. He takes no compensation whatsoever from the company, though he does have a $1.5 billion fortune comprised mostly of Pharmacyclics stock.
Although Zuckerberg will only hit up his social networking company for a $1 salary henceforth, Facebook is still ponying up for airfare and personal security. The company installed and maintains Zuckerberg’s security detail and also covered chartered flights for him and his guests for a total of $653,165 in 2013 — down from $1.2 million the previous year.
Source: Forbes Business