BUSINESS

A modern-day Robin Hood

CEO takes massive pay cut to double employees' salaries

 

A Seattle CEO has given himself a pay cut in order to give his employees a pay rise. Dan Price, head of a credit card processing company, surprised workers by declaring he would more than double their annual salaries by 2024. 

Announcing the move on Twitter, the 35-year-old entrepreneur wrote: “This morning we announced that all of our employees here [most of whom earn below US$30,000] will start earning our US$70,000 minimum salary. I’m so grateful to work with this amazing team and to be able to compensate them for the value they bring to our community.” In order to finance the plan and show good faith, Price slashed his own wage of $1.1 million to match that of his employees. “Having to depend on modest pay is not a bad thing,” he told Inc. “It will help me stay focused.” 

Running counter to the usual “CEO wage hike” narrative, the story has attracted widespread media coverage and fired up a debate across the US about income disparity. Speaking to ABC News, Price — dubbed a “modern Robin Hood” — was asked to explain the motivation behind the selfless act. “I’m sick of being part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution,” he said. “Previously, I was making a million dollars a year and people working for me were making $30,000 a year and that’s wrong, I was feeding into the problem.” 

For many of Price’s employees, the pay rise is life-changing: “I heard from somebody who was a single parent that they were not necessarily going to need to work two jobs anymore and they were going to be a better parent.” Price is disappointed that other big corporations haven’t followed his lead. "Any company that is making over a million dollars a year in profit absolutely should be doing this,” he said. “The inequality needs to stop.”

 

ABOVE Dan Price, CEO, Gravity Payments 

November 1, 2019