It’s official — Des Hague is keeping his job as CEO of Centerplate. On Friday, he admitted he was the man on a widely circulated video in Vancouver, kicking and yanking a one-year-old dog.
Company officials just issued a statement outlining the steps Hague will take to apologize. The CEO is on indefinite probation and has already agreed to take anger management classes. He’s also agreed to volunteer 1,000 hours with animal welfare groups and he will personally donate $100,000 to establish a foundation to honor Sade, the dog he reportedly kicked in the elevator.
The announcement shows just how valuable Hague is to the Centerplate brand. Since joining the company in 2009, he’s led Centeplate through a strong period of growth that “has tripled its number of accounts, and doubled in sales, since Hague took the reins in 2009,” according to Fortune Magazine. He’s a charismatic CEO who helped create a new culture at Centerplate, one based on improved customer experiences and an emphasis on hospitality instead of incremental concession sales. Up until this incident, he was a highly regarded and respected executive. He’s now set to begin the long process of repairing his reputation.
Here’s the statement Centerplate issued regarding Hague
Centerplate’s Board of Directors recently convened a special meeting following the completion of an internal investigation and review of an incident involving animal cruelty by its CEO Des Hague.
We pride ourselves as individuals and as a company on how we treat others—both humans and animals. 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.
Thus, upon internal review of the incident, and recognizing that Mr. Hague is truly ashamed of his actions and has expressed sincere remorse and shame for erratic behavior that is uncharacteristic of him we have decided to take the following immediate actions:
Mr. Hague will be given a written censure by the Board whereby he will be placed on indefinite probation stating that any further acts of misconduct would result in immediate termination.
As a condition of his continued employment with Centerplate, Mr. Hague will personally donate $100,000.00 USD which will be donated towards the establishment of the Sade Foundation in honor of the dog he mistreated in the elevator to help support the protection and safety of animals in the city of Vancouver where the incident occurred.
Further, we are requiring Mr. Hague to serve 1000 hours of community service in support of an organization that serves to protect the welfare and safety of animals.
Centerplate in no way condones the mistreatment of animals, and as a strong sign of our conviction, we the company will also contribute a portion of our sales to the Sade Foundation. Additionally, we will open this foundation to all Centerplate employees and the general public who want to support and contribute in the hope that meaningful change can come out of this tragic situation.
Mr. Hague still faces potential charges in Vancouver, where he is personally responsible for charges and fines in relation to the incident.
The reaction to Hague’s punishment was mostly negative:
re: Centerplate CEO #DesHague's dog abuse, I have to guess that sports fans who have protested will not be thrilled by mere "probation."
— Daniel Roberts (@readDanwrite) August 27, 2014
— Kevin Hebert (@Kevin_Hebert) August 27, 2014