Imagine having enough money you didn’t need to collect a salary from work. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is taking a $1 salary this year and foregoing any bonuses. He is not alone in this business tactic. The Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, who like Zuckerberg is a billionaire, collects just $1 annually for leading New York City.
A majority of the other people who take the single-dollar salary are in the tech world. When billionaires accept a $1 salary it is not only symbolic. Workers must collect some money for law (unless they are volunteers).
According to Quartz, Steve Jobs was paid $1 from the time he returned to Apple as CEO in 1998, and after 2003 he didn’t take any stock grants. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, as well as then-CEO Eric Schmidt, reduced their salaries to $1 in 2005. Even now, Page, currently CEO, and Brin still make $1. Schmidt, currently the executive chairman, however, collects a multimillion dollar salary. The list continues: Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Tesla’s Elon Musk, Zynga’s Mark Pincus, and H-P’s Meg Whitman.
In other industries, Capital One’s Richard Fairbank, Urban Outfitters’s Richard Hayne, Fossil’s Kosta Kartsotis, Kinder Morgan’s Richard Kinder, and Duke Energy’s James Rogers all only took home a $1 paycheck.
The trend of collecting a $1 salary isn’t new. “When Lee Iacocca was brought in to save Chrysler from bankruptcy in 1978, he took a $1 salary as a publicity stunt,” reports Quartz.
It’s not like Zuckerberg has to worry about money. Last year when Facebook went public he exercised 60 million stock options, then worth nearly $2.3 billion, buying those shares for next to nothing, reports the story. In fact, he sold half of the stock to pay off his tax bill. Zuckerberg still has another 60 million stock options that, if he chooses, he can exercise on Nov. 7, 2015, for the same amazingly cheap price of six cents.
Last year, Zuckerberg’s received a $266,101 bonus in addition to his $500,000 base salary. And there are lots of perks to being the boss. He gets use of Facebook’s private planes. His personal trips on Air Facebook last year cost more than $1.2 million.