Dan Price, who lowered compensation to $70,000, quits

A Seattle CEO who stated in 2015 that he would take a significant pay cut to assist cover the cost of substantial raises for his employees has resigned.

The Seattle Times reported that Dan Price, the beleaguered CEO of credit card processing business Gravity Payments, resigned on Wednesday.

“My number one objective is for our workers to work for the best company in the world, but my presence has become a distraction here,” tweeted Price. He established the business 18 years ago.

“I must also walk away from these responsibilities in order to devote my full attention to defending myself against baseless accusations,” he wrote. “I will not travel anywhere.”

Prosecutors in Seattle accused Price with misdemeanor assault against a lady and careless driving earlier this year. According to the prosecution, Price attempted to forcibly kiss a woman. In May, he entered a not-guilty plea; the case is ongoing.

Seven years ago, Price shocked his more than 100 employees when he announced he would be reducing his compensation from almost $1 million to $70,000 and utilizing company profits to assure that everyone would receive at least that amount within three years. 

That was a 46% increase from the $48,000 average yearly compensation at Gravity Payments at the time. About 70 staff received rises, with 30 seeing their pay double.

Price stated in 2016: “I’m really thrilled with how people’s lives are changing, because they deserve it, and they deserve every penny.” “For me to make the sacrifice in the short term, this is preferable to a Palm Springs or Hamptons holiday property. I assure you that this will be profitable.”