Three Ubisoft executives (Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, Ubisoft Canadian studios head Tannis Mallat, and Global Head of HR Cécile Cornet) are stepping down from their positions amidst multiple sexual harassment allegations and various other reports regarding corporate culture issues which have created a hostile workplace.
“Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees,” Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot says via a company-wide statement obtained by Kotaku. “This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised – and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture. Moving forward, as we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that leaders across the company manage their teams with the utmost respect.”
The specific reasons behind these departures vary. Tannis Mallat, for instance, is leaving the company in response to a variety of allegations made by employees at Ubisoft Canadian studios. Guillemot notes that the nature and extent of these allegations “make it impossible” for Mallat to retain his former position.
Cécile Cornet will be stepping down as Ubisoft’s Global Head of HR, and Guillemot says that the “search will begin immediately” for her replacement. Guillemot also notes that the company believes they need to strengthen their “HR function” and “restructure it further” in order to “adapt it to the new challenges of our industry.” It seems that the current plan is for Cornet to be assigned a new position within the company, but that could be subject to change.
Finally, Serge Hascoët has resigned after what Guillemot refers to as a series of “in-depth discussions.” Guillemot will be taking over the COO duties temporarily in order to help “create an inclusive and open culture that embraces more diverse and multidisciplinary expertise.” Guillemot also references the need to “define and organize the leadership of the Editorial Department” via this position.
These moves follow the resignation of former Ubisoft vice president Maxime Béland and Ubisoft vice president Tommy François being placed on disciplinary leave due to allegations made against each. Ubisoft creative director Ashraf Ismail has also stepped down from his work on Assassin’s Creed Valhalla following allegations of an extramarital affair and inappropriate behavior with fans.
The video game industry has been rocked in recent weeks by a series of sexual misconduct and harassment allegations. Ubisoft has found themselves at the center of these events due to their high-profile status, the nature of the allegations made against some of their top employees (and former employees), and the sheer scope of the problems which seem to exist within the company.
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