A Seattle CEO who cut his salary to raise his worker’s pay stepped down Wednesday from his company, Gravity Payments.
Dan Price’s resignation came after he was accused of assaulting a woman and driving recklessly, King 5 reported.
“Price pleaded not guilty to one charge of misdemeanor assault and one charge of reckless driving related to the incident in May. A harassment no-contact order was also issued,” the outlet said.
Price told employees this week he was leaving in light of the accusations.
“My No. 1 priority is for our employees to work for the best company in the world, but my presence has become a distraction here,” Price wrote in an email he shared on social media:
— Dan Price (@DanPriceSeattle) August 18, 2022
In 2015, Price set a minimum salary of $70,000 at his credit card processing firm and cut his own “million-dollar pay package” to make it a reality, according to the New York Times.
However, some customers who viewed it as a political statement stopped doing business with the company while “Others, anticipating a fee increase — despite repeated assurances to the contrary — also left,” the newspaper continued:
Two of Mr. Price’s most valued employees quit, spurred in part by their view that it was unfair to double the pay of some new hires while the longest-serving staff members got small or no raises. Some friends and associates in Seattle’s close-knit entrepreneurial network were also piqued that Mr. Price’s action made them look stingy in front of their own employees.
Gravity Payments website said its mission was to “change the way business is done by putting purpose and people above profit.”
Per the King 5 article, a police report said a woman met with Price earlier this year after messaging online. She said she met the man after he said he wanted to discuss “professional matters.”
Once they allegedly met at a restaurant the woman claimed Price became drunk.
“The woman attempted to order an Uber, and Price suggested waiting in his Tesla until it arrived. Once inside his car, Price allegedly attempted to force a kiss on the woman and grabbed her throat when she pushed him away. Documents say the woman told police he became ‘incredibly angry,’ and his demeanor completely changed,” the outlet said.
Price then allegedly took her to a parking lot and did “donuts” with the vehicle. He was also accused of trying to kiss her once more.
However, the man’s attorney claimed the allegations were false and said they possessed evidence contradicting the details in the police report.