Centerplate CEO resigns in response to dog abuse video

By: NewsCenter 16 Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Email

UPDATE: Monday, September 2:

Centerplate’s board of directors announced today that Chris Verros has been appointed to the role of acting president and chief executive officer, effective immediately, following the resignation of Desmond Hague from the company. The decision comes as a result of Hague’s personal misconduct involving the mistreatment of an animal in his care.

“We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals,” said Joe O’Donnell, chairman of the board of directors for Centerplate. “Following an extended review of the incident involving Mr. Hague, I’d like to apologize for the distress that this situation has caused to so many; but also thank our employees, clients and guests who expressed their feelings about this incident. Their voices helped us to frame our deliberations during this very unusual and unfortunate set of circumstances.”

Chris Verros assumes the new role with more than 35 years of experience and a reputation as one of the industry’s most respected leaders. Chief Operating Officer for Centerplate since 2010, he helped the company to achieve unprecedented growth. Prior to joining Centerplate, Verros was Executive Vice President of Boston Culinary Group and previously served as a Group President of Fine Host Corporation, following the 1993 acquisition of FanFare, Inc., a company he co-founded in 1986.

“I have been proud to work with Chris for more than 20 years, and feel that Centerplate is incredibly fortunate to have such a strong leader who can step into the role immediately,” O’Donnell added, “This past week has been very difficult for our company, our employees and our clients in particular, and I have no doubt that Chris’ experience, vision, integrity, and commitment to our values and mission will help us all move forward together.”



UPDATE: Centerplate has issued a statement regarding its CEO being caught on video abusing a dog.

CEO Desmond Hague will be given a written censure from the company, will donate $100,000 to the Sade Foundation and will serve 1,000 hours of community service for an organization that supports animal welfare.

"We pride ourselves as individuals and as a company on how we treat others—both humans and animals," the release stated. "The company finds Mr. Hague’s personal behavior unacceptable and outside the bounds of our high standards and expectations of all of our staff. We do not condone nor can we overlook the mistreatment of animals and Mr. Hague’s personal misconduct."

--- ORIGINAL STORY ---

Newly released video shows a man in an elevator repeatedly kicking a dog and pulling its leash hard enough to lift the animal off the floor.

Now, we've learned, the man owns a company that does business at Notre Dame.

Investigators in Vancouver identified the suspect as Desmond Hague, chief executive officer of Centerplate, the company in charge of providing concessions at Notre Dame Stadium.

According to Fortune, Hague released a statement Monday through his attorney, saying the incident was, “completely and utterly out of character.” He continued: “I am ashamed and deeply embarrassed… a minor frustration with a friend’s pet caused me to lose control of my emotional response… I would like to extend my apology to my family, company and clients, as I understand that this has also reflected negatively on them.”

According to Global News, the dog has been removed from the owner. It didn't require immediate veterinary treatment and will receive a full examination.

Although Hague initially claimed the dog belonged to a friend, an investigation found that he is actually the owner of the year-old Doberman Pinscher named “Sade” and that the July incident may not have been the first time the animal was mistreated. That's according to U-T San Diego.

“The way she behaves certainly gives the indication of fearfulness, and that indicates she has received this treatment before,” said Lorie Chortyk of the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals . “Our paperwork indicates that it was his dog.”

"Centerplate, the largest hospitality partner to North America’s premier sports stadiums, convention centers and entertainment venues, is proud to bring Irish football fans a series of new menu concepts, service enhancements and fan promotions for the upcoming Fighting Irish football season," according to a previously-posted release at gameday.nd.edu/...

Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown issued the following statement on behalf of the university: "We find the actions of Centerplate's CEO to be deplorable and will closely monitor this matter as the company conducts its internal review."

Tuesday night, Centerplate released a statement about the video: "We are aware of the incident involving Centerplate CEO Des Hague and the attention surrounding it. The company has now gathered all of the current facts from local authorities and is in the process of conducting an internal review. Centerplate does not condone the mistreatment of animals by any of its employees. Mr. Hague has agreed to attend counseling to address his anger management issues and has publicly expressed he is deeply ashamed and remorseful for his behavior. He has apologized to everyone directly involved as well as to the company's clients and employees, and has pledged a significant, personal, multi-year financial commitment to help support the protection and safety of animals. There will be a public statement as soon as Centerplate completes its review. "

If you would like to see the elevator security camera video showing the alleged animal abuse, visit www.utsandiego.com/...

If that link is down, you can also visit globalnews.ca/...

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