Mark Zuckerberg Has Secret Getaway Chute In Conference Room

Mark Zuckerberg Has Secret Getaway Chute In Conference Room

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first got 24/7 executive protection, there was a problem: He kept wandering off.

Sources said that in the early 2010s, the world-famous tech cofounder didn’t always keep his security team – initially just one person – in the loop on his plans. He might decide on a whim to leave the office, or go for a jog, or to a bar, leaving his staff scrambling to keep up.

“He [was] in his mid-twenties … he was developing a platform he truly believed was good … at the time he didn’t grasp the concept that there were haters out there,” one source said.

Since then, however, the billionaire exec has grown more accepting of executive protection’s constant presence, according to insiders. His closely monitored patterns of life now far more closely resemble a head of state than a typical 34-year-old engineer, with the stricter security practices mirroring the increase in Facebook’s own fortifications over the years.

Business Insider has spoken to current and former workers at Facebook’s Global Security organisation and others familiar with the matter, obtained internal company documents, reviewed court documents, and surveyed publicly available information in a 5,000-word investigation into how Facebook handles its corporate security, which you can read in full here.

These sources described sophisticated logistical challenges in protecting tens of thousands of employees and contract workers every day, and an underlying struggle between the techie ideals of openness and engineer freedom and the realities of protecting a high-profile and increasingly controversial multinational firm – as well as the challenges that come with protecting one of the world’s richest men.

Armed executive protection officers stand on constant guard outside Zuckerberg’s gated homes in the Bay Area, at least one of which also features a panic room. If he goes to a bar, his team will sweep through ahead of time to make sure it’s safe. They will vet new any new doctors, or trainers if he wants to take up a new hobby. He is driven everywhere, with the security team monitoring traffic and adjusting his route accordingly. (Back when he still drove, Zuckerberg was, in the words of one source, a “shitty driver.”)

During company all-hands meetings, members of Zuckerberg’s Praetorian Guard sit at the front of the room and are dotted throughout the crowd, just in case an employee tries to rush him. They wear civilian clothes to blend in with non-security employees.

Zuckerberg doesn’t typically work in a cordoned-off office like a traditional corporate executive. Instead, his regular desk is on the floor of Facebook’s open-plan office, just like everyone one – but executive protection officers sit near his desk while he works, in case of security threats. Facebook’s offices are built above an employee parking lot, but it’s impossible to park directly beneath Zuckerberg’s desk, because of concerns about the risk of car bombs.

He also has access to a large glass-walled conference room in the middle of the space near his desk, which features bullet-resistant windows and a panic button. There’s also a persistent rumor among Facebook employees that he has a secret “panic chute” his team can evacuate him down to get him out of the office in a hurry. The truth of this matter remains murky: One source said they had been briefed about the existence of a top-secret exit route through the floor of the conference room into the parking garage, but others said they had no knowledge of it. Facebook declined to comment on this.

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