Levi's Stadium

Centerplate’s dog-kicking CEO Desmond Hague gets wrist slapped

Centerplate’s board of directors issued the following statement on CEO Desmond Hague, who was caught abusing a dog in an elevator. The dog was later found in a crate without access to food or water, surrounded by its own urine.

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Centerplate Issues Statement Following Internal Review of Animal Cruelty Incident Involving CEO Des Hague—Censures, Penalizes and Places CEO on Indefinite Probation

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.

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If Hague’s pay rate is in line with the average Chief Executive Officer (American CEOs made $11.7 million in 2013, on average), the donation of $100,000 would be equal to 0.85% of his annual compensation. Good to know that he’ll work with an organization that helps animals — I’m sure that organization’s employees won’t cringe in the dog-kicker’s presence.

And he’s on probation! So the next time he gets caught on camera kicking a dog, Centerplate — a food service operator that serves several sports venues, including AT&T Park and Levi’s Stadium — will fire him. Bold move.

But canning Hague isn’t possible now, no sir. After all, he “has expressed sincere remorse,” which definitely has nothing to do with the fact that someone who watched the scene in that elevator alerted the authorities.

As David Fucillo of NinersNation wrote, “While I am glad there is some discipline being imposed, this still strikes me as yet another example of a rich corporate executive buying his way out of trouble.” Pretty much. Actually, I’m not even pleased with the discipline, because this is a strategic form of damage control. Hague abused the power he held over that poor, defenseless animal, and he gets to stay in power as Centerplate hopes “meaningful change can come out of this tragic situation.”

Give me a break.

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