Centerplate CEO resigns over dog abuse video
(Sept. 2, 2014) – The CEO of Centerplate has resigned after video surfaced of him abusing a dog inside an elevator, setting off a social media firestorm.
The incident happened at a Vancouver hotel in July and sparked a British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (BC SPCA) investigation after Desmond Hague was repeatedly seen kicking a Doberman Pinscher puppy and pulling it by its leash, according to Canada’s Global News.
Centerplate provides catering services to Lucas Oil Stadium as well as the Indianapolis Zoo.
Centerplate released the following statement, saying an acting CEO has been appointed following Hague’s resignation:
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.”
Hague apologized for the incident, admitting that he lost control. He agreed to donate $100,000 toward the establishment of the Sade Foundation in honor of the dog he mistreated in the elevator. He was also ordered to serve 1,000 hours of community service in support of organizations that help animals.