Paparazzi and passersby beware: There’s no casually cruising by Mark Zuckerberg’s $7 million abode anymore. The billionaire’s Palo Alto, Calif., mansion is now patrolled by 16 security guards, because apparently that’s how the world-famous Facebook co-founder and CEO rolls in his perpetual quest for privacy.
Yes, you read that number right. Sixteen bodyguards — a small army — are now working detail around the clock at Zuckerberg’s cushy five-bedroom digs, according to a recent Page Six report. Incidentally, that’s the same number of pawns chess players use at the outset of a game, and what the new father and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are presumably hoping amount to enough muscle to fend off “threats from unstable” Facebook users.
Safety first, kids. With more than 1 billion “daily active users on average” trolling the wildly popular social-media network, you’re bound to have more than a few creeper apples in the bunch. “You’re touching hundreds of millions of people,” an unnamed “insider” Silicon Valley source told Page Six. “All the CEOs get threats, and they take them very seriously.”
Some more than others.
By hiring more than a baker’s dozen bodyguards to watch over his Palo Alto pad, Zuck’s bound to ruffle more than a few neighbors’ feathers. He did just that in 2013, when he spent $30 million to buy up four neighboring homes. Meanwhile, people living next door to his $10 million San Francisco digs on splashy Liberty Hill are furious about his security staff there. They claim Zuck’s watchdogs are “permanently” and “illegally” hogging nearby parking spots with their flashy silver SUVs.
Zuckerberg’s press handlers refute the allegations, telling Buzzfeed News: “The security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local parking laws. The team strives to be sensitive to neighbors’ concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”
“Sensitive” security or not, as one neighbor pointed out, it “can be cumbersome living next to Zuck.” Unfortunately for his Palo Alto neighbors, it might’ve just gotten worse.