CEO slashes salary again to raise employees’ pay to $70K
Just four years ago, the CEO of the credit card processing company Gravity Payments whittled his salary in order to raise his employees’ pay.
This week, Dan Price announced he’s doing it again.
Employees of the company’s new Boise, Idaho office who are making less than $70,000 a year will be put on a plan to increase their salaries to $70,000 by 2024, according to the company’s statement released this week.
The move marks efforts by the Seattle-based company to create “an insanely accessible company that champions the little guy and gal in pursuit of the American Dream.”
While some deemed the maverick CEO's move "an unreasonable sacrifice," Price was quick to explain why he decided to cut his own seven-figure salary in order to pay for the initial raises.
"There’s some number where, when you hit it, the money over that just doesn’t make your life much better," Price said.
“It was worth it,” Price tweeted, adding, “I am proof of that. Any business making over a million in profit, any CEO making over a million should do it. It’s time.”
Gravity acquired the Idaho office, which was formally an independent company called ChargeItPro, as a subsidiary in 2017.
Prior to Gravity’s acquisition three years ago, more than half of ChargeItPro employees were earning less than $30,000 a year, according to the company, which added that it increased the minimum salary there to $40,000 in late 2017.
Since the announcement, Gravity Payments said it saw a spike in employment from roughly 120 to nearly 200 employees who have experienced personal growth as a result of the increased pay.
The number of children that employees were having increased from zero to one per year to six to seven per year, while more than 10 percent of its workers purchasing a house for the first time, according to the company. More than 70 percent of employees inundated with debt have been able to pay some of it down and personal individual 401(k) contributions have also more than doubled, the company added.
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The announcement follows a related move by banks that vowed to raise their minimum wage, though by a smaller margin.
Citigroup, the latest big bank to raise its minimum wage following Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase, raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour after being grilled by U.S. lawmakers about its pay gap between high-level employees and branch workers.
The wage increase was implemented on June 1 after the chief of America’s third-largest bank faced backlash for making $24.2 million last year, which was 486 times the median employee salary.