Tech CEO admits he’s been praying for inflation and ‘doing my inflation dance’

The entrance to an Iron Mountain facility inside a mountain.
An Iron Mountain data storage facility in Boyers, Pa., February 2018.
Stephanie Strasburg—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Soaring inflation is hurting companies and consumers all over the world, making everything from cheeseburgers to divorce more expensive.

However, a frank admission from one CEO recently revealed that for some business leaders, inflation is being used as an excuse to jack up prices and bolster profits.

William Meaney, CEO of information management firm Iron Mountain, said in candid comments first reported by The Intercept, that way before inflation surged to its highest level in decades, he had been “doing [his] inflation dance” and “praying for inflation” because it would benefit the company’s bottom line.

While he somewhat lamented this way of thinking and said he wished he “didn’t do such a good dance,” Meaney told shareholders that Iron Mountain had indeed benefited from the current economic climate.

Iron Mountain CEO William Meaney, pictured in 2009 during his tenure as chief executive of the Zuellig Group.
Jamie Rector—Bloomberg/Getty Images

“If you go back in terms of what we’ve been doing in terms of pricing and revenue management, we’ve been getting north of 200 basis points of price increase during the zero inflationary period,” he told investors at an event on Sept. 20. “And of course, now we’ve been able to take that up quite significantly.”

Describing Iron Mountain as “more of a price giver than a price taker,” Meaney said the firm was able to price ahead of inflation and “virtually [didn’t] have any customer pushback.”

However, Meaney argued that Iron Mountain wasn’t taking advantage of its customers, saying the company had been asking consumers to “pay more of their fair share in terms of the value that we present.”

“In the current environment, they understand why we have to increase our pricing, and we’re able to do that in a way that actually is slightly margin expansion,” he said.

A spokesperson for Iron Mountain was not available for comment when contacted by Fortune.

Meaney’s comments come as companies all over the world have passed rising costs onto consumers, squeezing consumer spending power and forcing Americans to rethink their basic expenditures.

However, research published earlier this year revealed that companies were taking advantage of the economic backdrop to “opportunistically” raise their prices, further fueling inflation.

“We’re charging [more from our] customer, and a lot of that does obviously cover our increased costs, but with a high gross margin business, a lot of that flows down to the bottom line,” Iron Mountain’s Meaney told investors last week.

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