When Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price announced back in April that he was cutting his own $1.1 million salary and raising all of his employees’ salaries to $70,000, the media flipped out. Local media in Seattle especially sang his praises. He was fawned over, interviewed, and put on magazine covers.
The media was later surprised when Price’s brother Lucas, a co-owner of Gravity Payments, filed a lawsuit against him.
Lucas Price claims his brother excessively paid himself and deprived Lucas Price of his minority-shareholder benefits. According to media reports, Dan Price was paying himself nearly $1 million a year before announcing he would cut his pay to $70,000 to help Gravity raise the pay of its employees to $70,000 over the next three years.
Court documents show that among other remedies, Lucas Price is asking the court to order Gravity to repurchase his shares and to provide a complete accounting of its transactions, financial affairs and financial records.
And what no one in the media seemed to be able to put together, until Bloomberg’s Karen Weise uncovered it, is that Dan Price knew full well that he was being sued by his brother Lucas BEFORE he announced the pay raises, and that he may have done this in order to create good PR for himself before knowledge of the suit became public.