Riot Games COO put on unpaid leave over misconduct in the workplace

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 14 December 2018 16:35 GMT

Riot Games has put its COO on two months unpaid leave over workplace misconduct.

An internal email sent to Riot Games employees this week states company COO Scott Gelb was put on two months unpaid leave, during which he will undergo “training.”

The notice to staffers from CEO Nicolo Laurent didn’t elaborate on the type of training, nor the exact nature of Gelb’s offence (thanks, GI.biz).

Obtained by Kotaku, the email confirms an investigation into Gelb conducted by law firm Seyfarth Shaw which was “overseen by a special committee” formed by Riots’s Board of Directors.

Sources at the League of Legends studio told Kotaku Gelb was frequently mentioned by employees for continued actions deemed inappropriate. Staffers reported “incidents of slapping or flicking testicles, farting on employees or dry-humping them.”

 

Laurent stated in the email many rumors circulating around Gelb “within the company, in the media and other channels,” weren’t true.

“There were claims made about Scott engaging in inappropriate and unprofessional behavior, particularly during the early days of Riot,” Laurent wrote. “And some of these claims were, in fact, substantiated. The conduct alleged in these claims is not acceptable.”

He went on to say Gelb could have “avoided owning his past and his consequences,” by leaving the company. Instead he chose “ownership and redemption,” which Laurent commended.

“I will support him through this journey, and will leverage him as a great leader when he returns next year. I hope you will join me.”

The studio has been under scrutiny following an expose by Kotaku over the summer due to a prevalent culture of “sexism and misogyny.” A number of staff came forward with accounts of sexism, gender discrimination, and inappropriate humor at the company.

After the allegations were made public, Riot released a statement saying it was committed to making changes to its “cultural DNA,” and would “leave no room for sexism or misogyny.”

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