The CEO Who Gave 90% of His Salary to His Staff

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In April 2015, Dan Price, CEO of a Seattle-based tech company Gravity Payments, did something with barely any precedents in the modern business world. He gave away 90 per cent of his own pay to raise the salaries of his employees to a minimum $70,000 a year. Price’s decision came after reading a study from Princeton University, which found that emotional wellbeing rises with income up to a cut-off point of $75,000 dollars, after which extra pay has no effect on happiness. At first Price struggled to make the numbers work, but after a while he realized that by cutting his own pay and using some company profits, he could afford it. This article explores Price’s own motivations in making this revolutionary move, as well as what effects such a decision could have across the business world where pay scale inequality is the norm.

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