CEO of Safeco Field's food service company resigns amid dog abuse scandal

SEATTLE -- The CEO of the exclusive provider of Safeco Field's food and beverage services resigned from his position Tuesday, not long after he was caught on camera abusing a friend's dog, an incident that sparked international outrage.

Desmond Hague resigned Tuesday and was replaced as the chief executive officer of Centerplate, Inc. by Chris Verros.

The decision comes as "a result of Hague's personal misconduct involving the mistreatment of an animal in his care," the company announced.  Hague was caught on camera abusing a dog in a Vancouver hotel elevator in late July. The footage sparked outrage online, with many calling for Hague’s resignation from Centerplate.

While the company originally decided to keep Hague on as CEO, his resignation perhaps illuminates the pressure the company received from animal lovers and others following the release of the footage.

"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. "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.

Centerplate is responsible for all of Safeco Field’s food services, as well as many other food services for arenas in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom; including the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara and BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

Mariners officials have previously said they would retain the services of Centerplate, believing Hague's "inexcusable" actions did not represent Centerplate's corporate philosophy.