Dan Price, who rose to fame as the CEO who set a $70,000 minimum wage for all of his employees, has resigned from Gravity Payments, the Seattle-based payment-processing company he founded a decade and a half ago. The resignation came before the New York Times published a story raising allegations about his behavior, particularly toward women.
Price’s resignation came Wednesday, which the Times
said was the same day Price had responded to questions from the news organization concerning its investigation.
See: Seattle CEO who cut his pay so workers could earn $70,000 minimum resigns
Price’s move to slash his salary and raise the minimum pay of his employees was lauded when it was announced in 2015. As the New York Times noted, the move garnered him coverage throughout the media world, from Esquire magazine to “The Daily Show,” plus in the Times itself, where columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote in an opinion piece: “A small Seattle company shows that capitalism can have a heart.”
But the Times investigation pointed to various incidents in Price’s past that undercut his CEO-who-cares image. Most significantly, it detailed the story of a woman who has accused him of rape. The Times also noted that prosecutors in Seattle “earlier this year charged Mr. Price with assault in another incident.”
Overall, the Times said that Price’s fame “has enabled a pattern of abuse in his personal life and hostile behavior at his company, interviews with more than 50 people, documents and police reports show.”
In the Times story, Price was quoted as saying he “never physically or sexually abused anyone” and that “the other accusations of inappropriate behavior towards women in this story are simply false.”
From the archives (February 2015): Seattle CEO grapples with consequences of the $70,000 minimum wage
Key Words (February 2021): Billionaire philanthropy is a ‘PR scam,’ says CEO who raised his workers’ minimum pay to $70,000
MarketWatch reached out to Price via his social-media accounts for comment but didn’t receive an immediate response.