A prominent CEO abuses a puppy and the whole scene is captured on elevator surveillance video. CBS 10 News reports that CEO of Centerplate, Des Hague, was seen in video footage kicking and dragging a defenseless Doberman puppy after entering an elevator. He clearly thought no one was watching his actions as he held onto the puppy with a leash. The dog belongs to a friend of Hague’s.
As seen in the video after entering the elevator, Hague repeatedly begins kicking the puppy, which evidently isn’t doing anything to provoke the man’s abusive behavior. He appears to be enjoying scaring the pup as they wait for the door to open. When they exit the elevator, he drags the puppy by its leash; the dog reluctantly walks with the CEO as the video ends.
Hague released a statement saying his actions were “completely and utterly out of character.”
“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.”
Centerplate released this statement after the abused puppy video was revealed:
“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.”
Centerplate is a Connecticut-based company that sells concession goods to sports and entertainment facilities around the U.S. The company is a $6 billion business. Among some of the famous sports venues that Centerplate provides concession products to are Levi’s Stadium, Candlestick Park, Tropicana Field, Superdome, and Notre Dame. The company has 30,000 employees and over 350 clients.
Fortune first reported on the story. Speaking with crisis manager and CEO of the sensitivity training company, ELI, Steve Paskoff shares what he’d think if he was at Centerplate:
“My immediate reaction to this news was, this is a guy who will kick and drag a friend’s dog—what else is there to say about him? And if he treats defenseless dogs this way, how is he treating people? Is Centerplate going to be comfortable saying he represents our values, which state [on its website] that the company is ‘a positive force in our communities?'”
Paskoff further tells Fortune that if Centerplate wants to fix this, they need to do more than release a statement.
“If you leave it alone, and don’t do anything, that says you find it acceptable. So the first thing is, let’s do a thorough investigation. While we’re doing a thorough investigation, you put him on some type of suspension. You do this as fairly, rapidly, and efficiently as you can. I think for many, many people, when you harm an animal for no reason, that is a low offense. It says something really serious about your character, and character matters when you lead an organization.”
[Image via Daily Mail]