Payments firm CEO who set 70k minimum wage resigns amid misconduct allegations

Payments firm CEO who set 70k minimum wage resigns amid misconduct allegations

The CEO who was lauded in 2015 for rolling out a $70,000 minimum wage at his payments processing firm has resigned after accusations of assault involving multiple women.

In the wake of a detailed New York Times investigation, Dan Price posted a statement on Twitter saying he has resigned from Gravity Payments, the firm he founded 18 years ago, to "focus full time on fighting false accusations made against me".

According to the Times, a woman has accused Price of raping her while she was under the influence of drugs. Police have referred the case to prosecutors although no charges have yet been filed.

Several other women say Price filmed them having sex without their knowledge, while another woman, Kacie Margis, say Price penetrated her after she declined sex.

In January, a woman told police that when she resisted Price's attempt to kiss her, he grabbed her throat. Price has been charged with misdemeanour assault and reckless driving in connection with the incident. He pleaded not guilty, and the case remains ongoing.

Price gained notoriety in 2015 when he vowed to pay all members of his 120 person-strong team at least $70,000. To pay for the move, Price said he would slash his own salary from nearly $1 million to the $70,000 figure and committing up to 80% of the privately owned company's profits for the year.

According to the New York Times, Price decided to take the dramatic step after reading an academic article on happiness that found that emotional well-being rises with income up until about $75,000 a year but that after that point there are no further gains.

The move made headlines and helped propel Price into social media stardom, using his platform to frequently opine on corporate greed, mental health, equality and women.

Questions about Price's behaviour go back to the time of his minimum wage announcement. In December 2015, Bloomberg reported that his ex-wife Kristie Colón used a videotaped TEDx talk to say she had been beaten and waterboarded by her ex-husband. Colón did not name Price, who told Bloomberg that the abuse "never happened".

Announcing his resignation in the wake of the latest allegations, Price concludes: "I'm not going anywhere."

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