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Zuckerberg Has $1 Salary, But What Does He Really Make?

The Facebook CEO cut his own base salary to just $1 in 2013, but the whole picture is a lot more complex.
Posted at 5:30 PM, Apr 01, 2014

This one’s hard to believe. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg cut his base salary to just $1 in 2013.

That’s down from the little more than $500,000 he made in 2012, the year he took his company public.

“We’ll ring this bell, and then we’ll get back to work.” (Via The Wall Street Journal)

But we know $1 isn’t the whole picture. Bloomberg breaks down the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Zuckerberg’s total compensation last year was actually $653,165. The non-salary compensation was for “passenger fees, fuel, crew and catering costs for his use of private planes for personal reasons, as part of his security program.”

To which a writer for Valleywag says, “I only get paid a dollar each year plus the six figure price of running a private jet fleet and catering doesn't quite have the same ring to it.”

Of course, the $1 per year is a bit of a PR move on Zuckerberg’s part. And it’s not new. (Via Facebook)

Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin also take $1 per year. The late Steve Jobs arguably popularized the practice years back. (Via TED, TED, Time)

And yes, it looks nice on paper. But like these CEOs, Zuckerberg still owns a sizable stake in his company. Mashable reports – 

“He also owns 61.6% of voting power in the company, giving him carte blanche to forge ahead with deals like the $19 billion pending WhatsApp acquisition and last week's $2 billion proposed takeover of Oculus.”

Zuck also has his stocks to fall back on. Last year, he earned $3.3 billion after exercising some of his options. (Via NBC)

Slate notes that’s up a billion dollars from the $2.3 he made off stocks in 2012. And he still has more than 400 million shares left.

At current prices, those shares are worth about $25.7 billion. Bloomberg estimates the 29-year-old’s total wealth is about $27 billion.