Seven years after Dan Price’s meteoric rise to prominence, the Seattle-based CEO raised near Nampa, Idaho, quickly came crashing back to Earth.
Price, who founded the credit card processing firm Gravity Payments, stepped down from his position as CEO on Wednesday to dedicate more time to “fighting false allegations” against him. Price resigned shortly before a New York Times investigative piece published on Thursday accused him of improper behavior with numerous women.
Already recognized as a young up-and-comer in the business world, Price earned national recognition in 2015 when he raised the minimum wage for all Gravity Payments’ employees to $70,000 and slashed his own salary from $1.1 million to $70,000.
Here’s a timeline of Price’s rise to the top, incidents of sexual misconduct and resignation:
February 2004: Price founded Gravity Payments with his brother, Lucas Price, during their time as students at Seattle Pacific University. By 2008, Gravity Payments was the largest credit card processor in Washington state and ranked 70th nationally.
2010 to 2014: Gravity Payments continued to flourish, and in 2010, Price was honored as the National Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He met President Barack Obama at the White House that May.
Price was arrested in 2013 for getting into a fight with a bar manager in Seattle, but the charges were eventually dropped.
April 13, 2015: Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned to raise the minimum wage of all Gravity Payment employees to $70,000 over three years. He also cut his salary from $1.1 million to $70,000 and used 75% to 80% of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million profit from that year to pay for the wage increases.
“As much as I’m a capitalist, there is nothing in the market that is making me do it,” Price said then. The move earned him national fame, with the New York Times and NBC covering the news. Esquire also did a photo shoot and Price appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
April 24, 2015: Price was sued by his brother, Lucas, who alleged that Price had raised his own salary and that the company-wide wage increases violated Lucas’ rights as a minority shareholder. A three-week-long court battle culminated in a King County Superior Court judge siding with Dan Price, ordering Lucas Price to pay his brother $1.3 million with 12% interest to cover legal fees.
October 2015: Price’s former wife, Kristie Colón, to whom he was married from 2005 to 2012, accused Price of domestic abuse at a TEDx talk at the University of Kentucky. (TED stands for “technology, entertainment, design.”)
Colón accused Price of throwing her to the ground, punching her in the stomach, and slapping her across the face. She also said that Price waterboarded her and that she had once locked herself in the car to protect herself from him.
Price said those incidents “never happened,” and the presentation could be defamatory. Price’s father, Ron Price, a Boise business consultant and public speaker, also denied the allegations in an interview with the Idaho Statesman in December 2015.
The University of Kentucky never posted the video, but Price lost a $500,000 book contract, and the Hollywood talent agency WME dropped him after Bloomberg Businessweek published a story about the incident.
January 2021: According to prosecutors, Price met an artist he had first messaged on Instagram in 2019, the Seattle Times later reported. After eating dinner together in Seattle, Price cornered her in his Tesla, tried to kiss her and grabbed her throat when she refused. When she called her boyfriend to come and get her, Price, intoxicated, sped the pair away to the top floor of a parking garage, according to the the Seattle Times report.
April 2021: Three months into a relationship with Kacie Margis, a San Diego-based model and artist, the pair met in Palm Springs, California, according to The New York Times. After a disagreement, Margis retired to bed after eating a cannabis edible to help with insomnia. As she drifted off to sleep, Margis said she felt Price penetrate her, but she pretended to be asleep for fears that he would “kill her,” she told the police.
A Palm Springs Police Department report, dated April 16, 2021, was posted online by a man called Doug Forbes, who has been blogging about Price for several years. The case summary he posted describes Margis as “Jane Doe” and says that “her boyfriend who was aware she had taken (the edible)” had engaged in intercourse with her without consent, knowing she did not want to be intimate.
The New York Times reported that the Palm Springs Police Department submitted its investigation into Margis’ claim to the Riverside County district attorney on Aug. 15, 2022, recommending a charge of rape of a drugged victim.
December 2020: Shortly after Margis went public with her experience, other women who had experienced misconduct at the hands of Price found Forbes’ blog, according to The Times. A fitness coach from Seattle, Serena Jowers, said that she met Price in December 2020 and he had tried making her watch pornography, pressured her into having sex, and recorded the interaction without her permission, The Times reported. Three other women also said that he had secretly filmed them.
May 31, 2022: The Seattle Times reported in April that Price was charged with fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, fourth-degree assault and reckless driving concerning the incident in January 2021. Seattle prosecutors dropped the charge for assault with sexual motivation but proceeded with the charges for reckless driving and assault
Aug. 17, 2022: Price eventually stepped down from his position as CEO of Gravity Payments, citing on his Twitter that he had become a “distraction” for the company.