Dan Price is the CEO of Gravity Payments, a credit card payment processor based in Seattle. A few days ago, Price gave his employees an unexpected surprise: everybody in the company is getting a $70,000 minimum wage.
Price tells the New York Times that the idea began when he read an article on happiness, that said that for people making less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives. So, on Monday, April 13, Price announced to his 120 person staff that, over the next three years, the salary of every employee in the company will be raised to a minimum of $70,000.
Currently, the average salary at Gravity is $48,000. And Price isn’t leaving himself out of the picture, either. He will be cutting his own salary, by the tune of some $930,000, from the approximately $1 million he makes now, down to $70,000.
The Today Show interviewed Price on April 15, and he explained some of the reasons behind his decision. He says he is concerned about inequality, and how wages aren’t keeping up for the average worker. Price shows the attitude that many wish more CEOs would adopt, when he says, “It’s not about making money, it’s about making a difference.”
The move will cut the company’s profits in half over the short-term. Price, who was Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year, is ok with that. He says he wants to be part of the solution to inequality in the United States. Price says he wants other CEOs to make similar moves.
“If corporate America also wants to be part of the solution that would make me happy,” he says. “What matters to me is that the problem gets solved.”
Here’s Dan Price’s interview from The Today Show:
Featured image via screen capture from The Today Show