When surveillance video was released of a prominent CEO abusing a dog in a Vancouver elevator, public reaction was swift. The video, taped in July but released to the public in late August, showed Des Hague, CEO of Centerplate, kicking and dragging a Doberman Pinscher. The video was sent to the BC SPCA and then released to the media. In the aftermath, more than 180,000 people signed a petition asking for Hague to lose his job.
Tonight, news broke that Hague will indeed lose his position. Global News is reporting Hague’s firing will be announced tomorrow. Clients of Centerplate were apparently told the news today.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Hague had already been sanctioned by the company. He was to pay $100,000 of his own money to fund a foundation named in honor of Sade, the Doberman in the video. He was also placed on indefinite probation and required to complete 1,000 hours of community service with an animal welfare organization. Hague also issued an apology.
The sanctions were not enough for those who were concerned for the welfare not only of Sade — who was taken into the BC SPCA’s care — but all animals. When news of the incident first broke, BC SPCA Chief Prevention and Enforcement Officer Marcie Moriarty said: “Any time you see alleged evidence of an animal in pain, it is very upsetting and troubling.”
Hague’s situation was enough for two radio hosts in Portland to take an extra step in favor of animal welfare. Responding to news of the $100,000 mandatory donation, Sheila and Marconi from Alpha’s 101.9 (KINK-FM) chose to start a fundraising drive for the Oregon Humane Society:
“We’d like to raise $10,000 from dog and cat lovers everywhere who find this kind of behavior despicable and unacceptable. It will send a message to Centerplate Concessions that a $100,000 fine for a guy who makes $11.7 million a year is just a slap on the wrist. People in power shouldn’t be able to buy their way out of abuse.”
The BC SPCA investigated the incident and has forwarded charge recommendations to the Crown in British Columbia. It is not yet known what criminal penalties or fines Hague may face as a result.
Centerplate provides food and beverage, dining and branded retail services to arena, cinemas and other entertainment venues across North America and the United Kingdom. The Global News report of Hague’s firing did not indicate who might replace him as CEO on a permanent basis.
UPDATE: Centerplate announced today, September 2, 2014, that Hague has resigned. The company released the following statement, which was reprinted in Fortune:
“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.'”
[Image: The Advocate]