Foodservice firm Centerplate's US chief executive Des Hague has resigned after more than 180,000 people petitioned for his dismissal after he was caught being cruel to a dog.
Hague came under fire after he was seen kicking a friend's Doberman puppy and yanking it by its lead in the elevator of a Vancouver apartment building in CCTV footage that surfaced two weeks ago, after it was sent to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
Centerplate announced today that the company's board of directors has appointed Chris Verros to the role of acting president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. The announcement follows the resignation of Hague from the company, which the company said came about as a result of his "personal misconduct".
Hague had apologised and said the incident was "completely and utterly out of character", before being placed on indefinite probation by his employer. Centerplate also insisted that Hague personally donate $100,000.00 USD to a dog charity and serve 1,000 hours community service.
Joe O'Donnell, chairman of the Centerplate board of directors, said: "We want to reiterate that we do not condone nor would we ever overlook the abuse of animals.
"Following an extended review of the incident involving Mr. Hague, I'd like to apologise 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."
Verros assumes the new role with more than 35 years' experience, including the role of chief operating officer at Centerplate since 2010.
O'Donnell added: "This past week has been very difficult for our company, our employees and our clients in particular, and I have no doubt that Chris' experience, vision, integrity, and commitment to our values and mission will help us all move forward together."