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Posted: September 02, 2014

Embattled CEO resigns in wake of dog-kicking video

KTVU

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By KTVU

SAN FRANCISCO —

The CEO of a multibillion-dollar company that provides catering services at several Bay Area sports venues has resigned after the fallout from a hotel surveillance video surfaced showing him kicking a friend’s dog.

Centerplate's board of directors announced in a press release Tuesday morning that Desmond Hague had resigned from the company and that the decision came as a result of his personal misconduct involving the mistreatment of an animal in his care.

Centerplate's board of directors said that Chris Verros has been appointed to the role of acting president and chief executive officer effective immediately.

"We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals," said Centerplate board of directors chairman Joe O’Donnell 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."

Hague came under fire after video from a security camera in the elevator of a Vancouver hotel showed him kicking a friend's 1-year-old Doberman Pinscher several times.

Hague offered a public apology saying he was ashamed and embarrassed by his actions. He said he let his frustrations with the dog get the best of him.

Both the San Francisco Giants and the 49ers issued statements last week critical of Hague. Centerplate has contracts with the teams at AT&T Park and Levi’s Stadium.

"The San Francisco Giants do not condone any abuse of animals and we were deeply disturbed by the recent news regarding Centerplate CEO Des Hague," the team statement read. "Centerplate management continues to investigate the incident and has taken some immediate steps in response to his actions -- including contributing a portion of its sales to a foundation dedicated to the protection and safety of animals in the city of Vancouver, where the incident occurred."

"While we deplore Mr. Hague’s personal actions, it should in no way reflect upon the hundreds of dedicated Centerplate employees who admirably serve our fans at AT&T Park each and every day. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and any further actions taken by Centerplate and the authorities in Vancouver."

The 49ers also condemned Hague but defended the company’s rank-and-file.

"The organization condemns the abuse of animals and was disturbed to learn of the recent news regarding Des Hague," the team said in a prepared statement. "We believe his actions are not reflective of the efforts and service provided by the hundreds of Centerplate employees working to present our fans with a tremendous experience at Levi’s Stadium."

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