SEATTLE (AP) – A Seattle CEO who announced in 2015 that he was taking a drastic pay cut to help cover the cost of big raises for his employees has announced his retirement.
Dan Price, the embattled CEO of credit card company Gravity Payments, resigned Wednesday, The Seattle Times reported.
Price stunned his 100-plus workers when he told them he was cutting their roughly $1 million salary to $70,000 and using the company’s profits to ensure everyone there would earn at least that much within three years.
“My #1 priority is for our employees to work for the best company in the world, but my presence has become a distraction here,”[ads1]; Price wrote in a statement on Twitter. He founded the company 18 years ago.
“I must also step aside from these duties to focus full-time on fighting false accusations against me,” he wrote. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Earlier this year, Seattle prosecutors charged Price with assaulting a woman and reckless driving. Prosecutors say Price tried to forcibly kiss a woman. He pleaded not guilty in May; the case is still ongoing.
Price, 38, has also run into other legal problems. His brother Lucas sued him in 2015, alleging that Dan Price was paying too much for himself. A King County judge ruled that Dan had not violated Lucas’ rights as a minority shareholder.
Allegations that Price had abused ex-wife Kristie Colon also surfaced that year. A Bloomberg report recounted an October 2015 TEDx talk given by Colon, in which she described being beaten and waterboarded by her ex, without naming Price. Price told Bloomberg that the events “never happened.”
Operations manager Tammi Kroll takes over from a managing director.