You may have heard about the Seattle CEO who cut his own $1 million salary to pay all his employees at least $70,000 a year.
In case you missed it, here's how The New York Times reported the news last week:
The idea began percolating, said Dan Price, the founder of Gravity Payments, after he read an article on happiness. It showed that, for people who earn less than about $70,000, extra money makes a big difference in their lives.
His idea bubbled into reality on Monday afternoon, when Mr. Price surprised his 120-person staff by announcing that he planned over the next three years to raise the salary of even the lowest-paid clerk, customer service representative and salesman to a minimum of $70,000.
“Is anyone else freaking out right now?” Mr. Price asked after the clapping and whooping died down into a few moments of stunned silence. “I’m kind of freaking out.”
If it’s a publicity stunt, it’s a costly one. Mr. Price, who started the Seattle-based credit-card payment processing firm in 2004 at the age of 19, said he would pay for the wage increases by cutting his own salary from nearly $1 million to $70,000 and using 75 to 80 percent of the company’s anticipated $2.2 million in profit this year.
So why do I bring up this business story at GetReligion?
Well, in the above video, doesn't Price look a whole lot like Jesus?
Seriously, did you notice the name of the CEO's alma mater?
The Times noted:
Mr. Price started the company, which processed $6.5 billion in transactions for more than 12,000 businesses last year, in his dorm room at Seattle Pacific University with seed money from his older brother.
Seattle Pacific is, of course, an evangelical Christian institution.
The university describes itself this way:
Seattle Pacific University is a place where 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students gain a superb education grounded on the gospel of Jesus Christ — and the tools to influence the world for good. Outstanding scholarship and thoughtful faith is a powerful combination that brings about change in the lives of graduates, and in the people and communities they go on to serve.
Last year, in a report on Entrepreneur Magazine naming Price the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year, the Idaho Statesman pointed out that he's a 2003 graduate of Nampa Christian High School.
That school's mission statement says:
Nampa Christian is a non-denominational, biblically based, learning community, that partners with Christian families to develop a Christian world-view, promote academic excellence, and prepare students, Pre-K – 12, for a lifetime of faithfulness to Christ.
In an interview with the Statesman, Price reflected on what winning the entrepreneur award meant to him:
Dan: We're nowhere near our potential. We have a long way to go. We're trying to make an industry that is evil a little bit less evil. But I'd rather make it good.
In discussing his decision to cut his salary with Fox News' Shepard Smith, Price said:
The entire business was built on values and treating people the right way, treating people the way you would want to be treated.
Hmmmm, that sounds a whole lot like the Golden Rule (see Matthew 7:12).
At the end of the Fox interview, Smith remarks to Price:
Well, you're just clearly very weird.
Price replies with a smile:
I've heard that before.
But could Price's weirdness have something to do with his Christian faith, if, as I am assuming, he is a Christian? A blurb on Seattle Pacific's website says one of the books that influenced him was "Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger."
My quick Googling didn't turn up any news reports that mention Price's religion. Nonetheless, I can't help but think a holy ghost might be haunting this story.