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CEO Who Took $1M Pay Cut To Give Employees $70k Basic Wage Encourages Others To Do The Same

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CEO Who Took $1M Pay Cut To Give Employees $70k Basic Wage Encourages Others To Do The Same

Six years after slashing his salary by $1 million ($725,000) so he could pay his staff a minimum of $70,000 (£55,000) a year, Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price is urging other companies to follow suit.

Price made the decision following a conversation with his friend Valerie, who said that despite earning $40,000 (£31,000), the amount simply wasn't enough to cover a combination of rent and bills in Seattle.

After crunching the numbers, Price worked out that to live comfortably in the area, his employees would need around $70,000 annually.

To allow that to happen, the CEO would need to take a significant pay cut, mortgage his two houses and part with stocks and savings. And that's exactly what he did.

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Credit: Instagram/@danpriceseattle
Credit: Instagram/@danpriceseattle

Now the 37-year-old has shared an update on how his credit card processing company has been impacted by that bold decision.

When quizzed by CBS News, Price revealed the company has actually tripled its workforce, and that his team are still earning a $70k base salary.

Now, he's urging other company leaders to follow in his footsteps.

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He said: "I would say that's the failure of this.

"You know, I feel like I've been shouting from the rooftops like, 'This works, this works, everybody should do it!' and zero big companies are following suit because the system values having the highest return with the lowest risk and the lowest amount of work."

He went on to say the big pay bump had created an even more dedicated workforce, one he credits with his business' success.

He continued: "Our turnover rate was cut in half, so when you have employees staying twice as long, their knowledge of how to help our customers skyrocketed over time and that's really what paid for the raise more so than my pay cut."

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Credit: Instagram/@danpriceseattle
Credit: Instagram/@danpriceseattle

Gravity did face an element of uncertainty due to the pandemic, where at one point 55 percent of its total business vanished.

To ensure the company could continue operating, staff volunteered to take a temporary pay cut.

Now things have started to bounce back though.

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Two employees who agree to take a pay cut told CBS that as well as returning their pay to normal, Gravity actually repaid them the earnings they gave up.

As a sign of gratitude to Price's actions, his team chipped together and surprised him with a new Tesla.

Price said: "My employees have done way more for me than I could ever do for them.

"So the fact that they wanted to get me such an unreal, amazing gift, it's pretty special.

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"I don't know if I can put it into words."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@danpriceseattle

Topics: Money, US News

Bradley Lengden
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