Seattle CEO who made headlines for pay cut so workers could earn $70K resigns

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Dan Price, the CEO of credit card processing company Gravity Payments, resigned on Wednesday.

Price made headlines in 2015 when he announced he was giving himself a drastic pay cut to help cover the cost of big raises for his employees.

Earlier this year, Seattle prosecutors charged Price with misdemeanor assault and reckless driving, according to The Seattle Times.

Prosecutors say Price tried to forcibly kiss a woman in his car then grabbed her throat when she refused him. He pleaded not guilty in May. The case remains ongoing.

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Dan Price, former CEO of Gravity Payments. (Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images / Getty Images)

"My No. 1 priority is for our employees to work for the best company in the world, but my presence has become a distraction here,"  Price wrote in a statement on Twitter. He founded the company 18 years ago.

"I also need to step aside from these duties to focus full time on fighting false accusations made against me," he wrote. "I'm not going anywhere."

Back in 2015, Price stunned his 100-plus workers when he told them he was cutting his roughly $1 million salary to $70,000 and using company profits to ensure that everyone there would earn at least that much within three years.

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His brother Lucas sued him in 2015, alleging that Dan Price was overpaying himself. A King County judge ruled that Dan had not violated Lucas’ rights as a minority shareholder.

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price attends the Canoche Benefit for the RC22 Foundation hosted by Robinson Cano at the Paramount Theatre on June 3, 2015, in Seattle, Washington. (Mat Hayward/FilmMagic / Getty Images)

Allegations that Price had abused ex-wife Kristie Colon also surfaced that year. A Bloomberg report recounted an October 2015 TEDx talk given by Colon during which she described being beaten and waterboarded by her ex, without naming Price. 

Price told Bloomberg those events "never happened."

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Chief operating officer Tammi Kroll will take over as CEO.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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