On Wednesday, Dan Price resigned as CEO of Gravity Payments and Tammi Kroll, the COO, was named as the company’s new CEO, according to a tweet from Price.
Price also said that his presence had become a distraction, saying: “I also need to step aside from these duties to focus full time on fighting false accusations made against me. I’m not going anywhere.”
Price gained national attention in 2015 when he slashed his own salary to ensure his employees received at least $70,000 a year.
During the pandemic, Gravity managed to avoid any layoffs. He told KIRO 7 News in March 2020 that he had approached his workers with a blunt assessment: More than half of the company’s business had dropped off the books, practically overnight. As restaurants, stores and various businesses closed their doors, the credit card processing business was looking at its own massive coronavirus pandemic fallout.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen, and I don’t have a solution for you,” Price remembers telling the workers at a meeting.
During that time, staff members volunteered to take temporary pay cuts to avoid a single layoff. Price and his chief operating officer were among 10 who agreed to be paid $0. In total, 98% of employees agreed to some form of a pay cut.
However, that changed in April 2020 when Price told KIRO 7 that the company was bringing in more businesses into its credit card processing system than ever before. Gravity Payments also began working with small businesses to incorporate online payments for to-go orders.
While the company survived the pandemic, there was something else lurking in the dark that might have not been known to many as he was praised for increasing his employees’ pay. There have been claims from multiple women that he had sexually assaulted them, including abusive acts toward his former wife, Kirstie Colon, according to a report from The New York Times, which was detailed in a TEDx talk in October 2015.
In one incident, model and artist Kacie Margis who met Price through social media, described in the Times article that the start of their relationship was “a whirlwind courtship.” However, that courtship was purported to have ended after three months with an allegation of rape.
While the article says there were warning signs about Price, Margis reportedly did not see them as her Google searches only brought up top results from his own social media accounts.
While Price had achieved fame through his social media posts, his fame also “enabled a pattern of abuse in his personal life and hostile behavior at his company,” according to the Times article. “He has used his celebrity to pursue women online who say he hurt them, both physically and emotionally.”
According to a statement that Price gave the Times, he denied physically or sexually abusing anyone, and said that “the other accusations of inappropriate behavior towards women in this story are simply false,” referring to the Times.
There were even claims that he was a toxic boss.
In another instance, Price reportedly brought some employees to his home to watch a documentary about Anthony Weiner’s comeback.
While Margis is not the only woman who said she has been sexually assaulted by Price. In June, he pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor and reckless driving charges stemming from an alleged assault with a sexual motivation that happened in Seattle.
In a statement to the Times, Price said he trusted the legal process and was looking forward to proving his innocence.
Price is also being investigated for “felony rape of a drugged victim,” stemming from a Palm Springs incident in April 2021, according to a Palm Springs Police Department report.