This past weekend was an eventful one for Ubisoft. The game developer showcased its forthcoming titles during its Forward event last night, but perhaps more importantly, it is beginning to take sexual harassment allegations within its organisation more seriously.
This as a handful of executives have resigned over sexual harassment claims, which follows the company’s desire to change its culture earlier in the month.
“Today, Ubisoft announced several significant personnel changes that are a part of the comprehensive work the Company is doing to improve and strengthen its workplace culture,” reads an official announcement from the company.
“These departures come following the initiation of a rigorous review that the Company initiated in response to recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior,” it adds.
While the company has not directly indicated what role or how much knowledge of sexual harassment allegations these executives were aware of, it has outlined which individuals have chosen to resign, as well as what will happen in the interim.
To that end, Serge Hascoët has stepped down as Ubisoft’s chief creative officer, with co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot looking after things for now. The CEO will also be overseeing an entire reworking of the way the company’s creative teams collaborate.
Two of the other high profile departures from Ubisoft include MD of its Canadian Studios, Yannis Mallat, as well as global head of HR, Cécile Cornet.
Regarding the former, Kotaku earlier this week reported on a letter signed by more than 100 employees at the Toronto-based studio, where they cited, “grave concerns about ongoing reported harassment and an inability to feel safe or protected within our own studio.”
As for the motivations for Cornet to step down, Ubisoft provided the following context.
“In parallel, the Company is restructuring and strengthening its HR function in order to adapt it to the new challenges of the video game industry. Ubisoft is in the final steps of hiring a top international management consulting firm to audit and reshape its HR procedures and policies, as previously announced.”
“These changes are part of a comprehensive set of initiatives announced to employees on July 2, 2020. These initiatives are guiding Ubisoft’s renewed commitment to fostering an environment that its employees, partners and communities can be proud of – one that reflects Ubisoft’s values and that is safe for everyone,” the developer concluded.
Whether a handful of resignations will address the issues plaguing Ubisoft remains to be seen, but there is clearly a culture within the organisation that needs to be tackled, so we expect more high-profile resignations in coming months.