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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Centerplate CEO Des Hague resigns

By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com

Des Hague has resigned as CEO of sports catering giant Centerplate on Tuesday in the wake of a surveillance video showing him kicking his friend's puppy and yanking it by its leash.

Chris Verros has been appointed the new CEO by the company's board of directors, effective immediately.

"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, in a statement. "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."

The company initially said the incident, which occurred in the elevator of a Vancouver apartment building, was a personal matter. However, Hague later agreed to donate $100,000 to the Sade Foundation "in honor of the dog he mistreated," attend counseling to address his anger management issues and serve 1,000 hours of community service to an undetermined animal protection agency.

Hague still faces potential criminal charges in Vancouver, the company said.

It remains to be seen whether the company, which has business with nine NFL teams, including the Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers, will see any repercussions from its CEO's actions.

No business has yet been pulled, but a petition on change.org encouraging Centerplate to fire Hague reached 150,000 signatures.

Centerplate has more than 30,000 employees and says it serves more than 115 million people a year at the more than 300 venues for which it caters.