After weeks of unrest over sexual abuse allegations against French video game publisher Yis Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, announced a number of departures in the company’s executive positions related to misconduct investigations.
The company said these personnel changes are part of the ongoing review of allegations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior, such as executive sexual harassment, at Ubisoft, which announces a number of major games at its Ubisoft Forward event on Sunday. Ubisoft’s review was triggered by a major movement in all areas of gaming to uncover misconduct, mainly on social media.
According to Ubisoft, Serge Hascoët will immediately step down from his position as Chief Creative Officer. Meanwhile, Guillemot, co-founder of Ubisoft, will take on this role and personally oversee the complete overhaul of the way the creative teams work together, the company said.
“Ubisoft has failed to meet its commitment to guarantee its employees a safe and inclusive work environment. This is unacceptable because toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values that I never compromised with ̵
Yannis Mallat, managing director of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios, will step down and leave the company with immediate effect. The recent allegations against several employees in Canada have made it impossible for him to continue this position, the company said.
In addition, Ubisoft will appoint a new global human relations leader to replace Cécile Cornet, who has decided to step down from the role as “she believes this is in the best interest of the company’s unity.” Numerous employees accused the HR department of simply covering up executive violations rather than investigating them fully.
The search for their replacement will begin immediately, led by an industry-leading recruiting company, said Ubisoft. At the same time, the company is restructuring its HR function in order to adapt it to the “new challenges of the video game industry”. Ubisoft is in the final stages of hiring an international top management consulting firm to review and redesign its HR processes and policies.
These changes are part of a comprehensive series of initiatives announced to employees on July 2, 2020. These initiatives drive Ubisoft’s renewed commitment to promoting an environment that its employees, partners and communities can be proud of – one that reflects Ubisoft’s values, and that means for everyone.
On June 24, Ashraf Ismail, the creative director of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, resigned from his role in Ubisoft’s next big game due to allegations. Maxime Béland, vice president of the editorial team, resigned last week as part of a sexual harassment investigation. And Tommy Francois, vice president of editorial and creative services, was placed on disciplinary leave. An unnamed person was also released from the Toronto office. Further investigations are still pending.