Dan Price, the CEO who famously slashed his own pay to $70,000 while raising minimum wage at Gravity Payments, has resigned while facing charges for allegedly assaulting a 26-year-old woman.
Price, 38, announced his exit in a statement shared on Twitter and said longtime Gravity Payments COO Tammi Kroll would replace him as the firm’s top boss.
“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 said. “I also need to step aside from these duties to focus full time on fighting false accusations made against me. I’m not going anywhere.”
Earlier this year, Seattle prosecutors charged Price with misdemeanor assault and reckless driving after he allegedly attempted to kiss the woman following a business meeting and then grabbed her by the throat when she rejected his advances.
After the alleged altercation, Price purportedly drove to a parking lot and performed “doughnuts” in his Tesla while she was still in the car, according to the Seattle Times. Price pleaded not guilty to the charge in May and has denied wrongdoing.
“Mr. Price respects the legal process and is confident that he will be vindicated in court,” an attorney for the executive told the outlet earlier this year.
Price garnered widespread attention in 2015 after publicly revealing that he would cut his own $1 million salary to $70,000. The tech CEO said the money would help to fund an initiative to raise Gravity Payments’ minimum wage to $70,000 within a three-year period, up from $48,000.
In an interview with CBS News at the time, Price called his decision a “sacrifice.”
“I’m so happy how people’s lives are changing, because they deserve it, and they deserve every penny of it,” Price said. “For me to make the sacrifice in the short term, I’d rather this than a vacation home in Palm Springs or the Hamptons. I guarantee that this will pay off.”
Price has since positioned himself as an outspoken workers’ rights advocate and built a cult following on social media, with nearly 800,000 followers on LinkedIn. His posts ripping corporate leaders while calling for improved employee pay and benefits regularly go viral.
In August, Price responded to The Post’s tweet about writer Malcolm Gladwell’s criticism of remote work by touting Gravity’s policy.
“I’m CEO of a company that went remote two years ago. Last year we had our highest revenue and lowest employee turnover in our history (in 19 years). We also had about 300 applications per job opening,” he tweeted.
But the ex-Gravity Payments boss has faced legal scrutiny over the years, as well as allegations of misconduct in his personal life.
Price’s initiative to boost minimum wage at the firm came around the same time that his older brother, Lucas, accused him in court of overpaying himself and violating his rights as a minority shareholder in the firm. The court later ruled in Dan Price’s favor.
In 2015, Bloomberg reported that Price’s ex-wife Kristie Colon gave a TEDx talk in which she, without naming Price, alleged that he had physically assaulted her.
Colon described once locking herself in her car because she was “afraid he was going to body-slam me into the ground again or waterboard me in our upstairs bathroom like he had done before.”
Price later told Bloomberg that the incidents “never happened.”