Employees of Gravity Payments have chipped in to buy a new Tesla for Dan Price, the CEO who made headlines for boosting their salaries to a minimum of $70,000 a year — showing their support following his victory last week in a hard-fought court battle with his brother, the company’s minority shareholder.
Price posted the photos below on his Facebook page, writing, “Shocked. Still in disbelief. Never imagined this was possible. Gravity employees saved up and pitched in over the past six months and bought me my dream car. A brand new, gorgeous blue #Tesla. Still in shock. How do I even begin to say thank you?”
The inscription reads, “Dan, Thank you for always putting the team before yourself. This gift is our way of showing how much your sacrifice means to us.”
The company says the project was managed by Alyssa O’Neal, a single mother who was one of the employees most impacted by the shift to $70,000 salaries. “This was a special way for us all to thank him for all of the sacrifices he’s made and challenges he’s faced for each of us since he announced our $70k minimum wage. Through all of the successes and challenges of the past year, Dan has never once put himself first,” she said.
Gravity Payments made international headlines due to Dan Price’s decision, announced in April 2015, to raise the company’s minimum salary to $70,000 over three years and immediately drop his compensation — previously more than $1 million — to $70,000 to help fund the raises.
His brother and business partner, Lucas Price, served the suit on his brother prior to the $70,000 announcement, and the core allegations related to the preceding years, including a claim that Dan Price used his majority control to pay himself excessive compensation. Although the original complaint didn’t cite the $70,000 salaries, Lucas Price’s attorneys later pointed to the move as an example of Dan Price cutting his brother out of key decisions at the company.
The ruling last week by King County Superior Court Judge Theresa B. Doyle gave Dan Price a resounding victory — declaring him “the substantially prevailing party on all of Lucas Price’s claims,” rejecting allegations that Dan Price awarded himself excessive compensation and worked against his brother’s interests.
Update, 7/15: Here’s a video from Gravity Payments.