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December 01, 2015

Oh, My: Fantastic Piece on Seattle Corporate Jesus, Dan Price of Gravity Inc.

You remember this guy from his very well-engineered PR blitz in April -- or at least, he did everything possible to make sure you knew his name.

This is the guy who, according to his own claims given to friendly news outlets promised an exclusive (NYT, NBC -- go figure), woke up one day and realized that Income Inequality Iz Inequal and reduced his own salary of $1.1 million per year down to $70,000 per year, in order to boost the salaries of his employees up to a minimum of $70,000 per year.

Everyone hailed Seattle Corporate Jesus.

But what if I told you everything you thought you knew about Seattle Corporate Jesus was a lie?

Long article by Karen Weise, worth reading, but I will digest the important parts:

1. The writer finds that Dan Price's previous salary of $1.1 million per year was not just bad because Income Inequality Iz Inequal, but also bad because it's way out of line with CEO salaries of Gravity's approximate size and profits. This is all guestimating, because Gravity's numbers are not public, but the writer finds the usual CEO of this sized company (small) is from about $373,000 to $710,000 per year, in total compensation of all kinds.

So, at least according to those ballpark estimates, the $1.1 million salary is either very high, or absurdly high.

But who would care about such a thing?

I'll tell you who would care: his brother, a co-owner in the company.

2. The other key bit is that while Dan Price has said -- or strongly implied -- that his brother filed suit after he generously slashed his own pay and increased the pay of employees, because, I guess, he's greedy and Hates Seattle Corporate Jesus, in fact, the brother notified Price of the suit about a month before he cut his salary and increased employee pay.

And what is the gravamen of the brother's suit? That Dan Price was paying himself an outsized salary, effectively taking business profits home with him in the form of a salary rather than paying his brother the business profits to which he was entitled.

The suggestion from the article is that Dan Price cooked up this "lower my salary/pay my employees more/go on a bonanza TV and print blitz" in order to thwart his brother's lawsuit and to keep his brother from winning that suit which, based on the numbers the reporter provides, might well have succeeded.

Now, the reporter Weise tries to get Price to answer clearly about this discrepancy between the timing he suggested (that his brother filed suit after the Seattle Corporate Jesus Maneuver, because he's a big meany-head) and the fact that his brother notified him of the suit before this maneuver.

Seattle Corporate Jesus starts getting a bit dodgy on these key points. There is a fact you need to know to understand this: Washington state allows you to serve someone before you actually file suit. In this case, Price was served by his brother before he changed the compensation at the company, but the suit was only filed at the court a bit after that.

So you'll see some misdirection here about what date we're talking about -- the date of the filing of the suit, or the date he was served and knew he was about to have suit filed against him:

In a follow-up interview in mid-November, I pressed Price about the inconsistency. How could what he told me about being served two weeks after announcing the raise be true when the court records indicated otherwise?

"Umm, Im not, I have to look," he said.

The court document, I said, definitely says March 16.

"I am only aware of the suit being initiated after the raise," he replied.

See what he did there? He's saying he's only aware of the "suit being initiated" after the employee raise. This is Hillaryesque parsing. He's being asked about when he was served, but he answers instead about when the suit was filed.

"The court record shows you being served on March 16 ... at 1:25 p.m.," I said. "And actually, your answer to it was dated April 3," also before the pay hike.

"I am only aware of the suit being initiated after the raise," he repeated.

Again, he resorts to lawyerly parsing between being served and the "suit being initiated." That this line was repeated twice, verbatim, strongly suggests to me he only answered these questions after going over his responses with a lawyer.

I asked again how that could be, saying the declaration of service shows Price was served with the complaint, the summons, and other documents,"that you are a male, who is white, age 30, 5-feet-8-inches, medium height, dark hair."

He paused for 20 seconds. "Are you there?" he asked, then twice repeated his statement that he was only aware of the suit being initiated in late April. "I'd be happy to answer any other questions you may have," he added.

He repeated the "suit being initiated" language twice more then, I take that to mean. So four times with the same lawyered-up language.

Meanwhile, as to his statement that he'd be happy to answer any other questions she might have: Well, that's not true either. Because he gets dodgy again when he's read a passage from his ex-wife's memoirs in which she seems to be claiming he roughed her up.

BTW: This is a good point.

In all this praise from the liberal media for advancing one of their favorite narratives, did no one think to contact his brother or his brother's attorney to ask what the suit was about?

I think they probably did ask -- but they found that reporting on the details of the brother's suit (alleging gross self overpayment) would muddy The Narrative, and the only thing that matters is The Narrative, not the facts.

The Religion, never the reality.

digg this
posted by Ace at 06:21 PM

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