Overseeing the Facebook empire might be one of the toughest jobs there is at the moment as the social media platform struggles to fight against fake news, political interference and data privacy concerns.
You would think that such a difficult job is made bearable by a rewarding wage. However, that isn’t the case for the Facebook CEO.
Mark Zuckerberg salary: How much does the Facebook CEO earn?
As revealed by Facebook’s annual proxy statement submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Zuckerberg currently earns a base salary of just $1, making him Facebook’s lowest paid employee.
“No executive officer participated directly in the final deliberations or determinations regarding his or her compensation package or was present during such determinations, except for our CEO who has requested that his base salary be fixed at $1 per year,” the latest statement, submitted in 2018, reads.
This has been the case since 2013, when Zuckerberg first requested for his $500,000 base salary to be dropped.
While he has in previous years, Zuckerberg also chose not to participate in the company’s bonus or equity schemes in 2017.
How does Zuckerberg’s salary compare to other tech leaders?
Zuckerberg is part of a growing club of tech CEOs that earn less than the cost of a bus ride for a year’s work. The $1 sum is due to the fact that full-time employees must be paid some sort of wage.
The practice has been ongoing since the early 1900s, but has become increasingly common in recent years, with the likes of Michael Bloomberg, founder of the financial data company by the same name, and Donald Trump having rejected anything more than $1.
As tech stocks rocketed, so too did the practice in the industry.
Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have been paid $1 since the company went public in 2004, while Zuckerberg’s social media rival Jack Dorsey refuses to earn above $1.40 despite his fortune being considerably smaller than the Facebook founder’s.
Other notable $1 tech CEOs include Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman and Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.
Mark Zuckerberg net worth: A growing fortune
While Zuckerberg may be paid pocket change for his continued role with the social media company, he continues to add billions of dollars to his wealth each year.
According to Forbes’ annual The World’s Billionaires list, Zuckerberg is currently the world’s 8th richest person, having amassed a fortune worth $62.3bn. This puts him just behind Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, and a few places ahead of Google co-founder Larry Page – a fellow member of the $1 CEO club.
Over the past decade, the Facebook founder’s worth has grown by $58.3bn. That equates to approximately earnings of $5.83bn annually. However, that varies greatly each year – 2017, for example, saw Zuckerberg grow his wealth by $15bn. That was followed by $8.7bn in losses in 2018 as the company faced an onslaught of problems, from the Cambridge Analytica scandal to a data breach that compromised 50 million of its users.
So how does Mark Zuckerberg make money?
Shares. The Facebook founder still owns around 28% of the company’s publicly traded Class A shares. As the Facebook share price increases, so too does Zuckerberg’s wealth.
According to the company’s latest proxy statement, Zuckerberg holds 8.75m Class A shares, and each share is currently worth $178 according to Google Finance. That’s $1,555,925,000, or $1.55bn.
However, the real value is in Zuckerberg’s Class B shares.
Facebook operates with a dual share structure. Class A shares are publicly traded, while Class B shares are retained by Zuckerberg and his fellow Facebook executives. These shares are worth 10 votes, compared to just one vote for Class A shares. So while Zuckerberg’s stake in Facebook may stand at 28%, his voting power is far, far higher. According to the latest statement, Zuckerberg currently holds 59.9% of total voting power within the organisation.
“The dollar salary really for them is meant to signify that they have large stakes in their company. The value they’re going to receive – the compensation they’ll earn – is coming solely from their stock,” Aaron Boyd, director of governance for Equilar, previously told Forbes.