After conducting investigations into harassment allegations made against its employees, Ubisoft recently announced that three top executives are leaving the company, effective immediately.
“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,” reads an official press release.
The executives leaving the company include Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and Global Head of HR Cécile Cornet.
Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot will act as the interim Chief Creative Officer following Hascoët’s departure, during which time he will “personally oversee a complete overhaul of the way in which the creative teams collaborate.”
It is important to note the significance of Hascoët’s departure in particular – the tweets embedded below attest to how major his role at the company was.
This is a *huge* deal for Ubisoft. Serge Hascoet was the man in charge of ALL of their games. With one word he could greenlight or cancel a project. Many Ubisoft employees believed he was too powerful and close to the CEO to ever be ousted, no matter how many allegations emerged
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) July 11, 2020
“With one word he could greenlight or cancel a project,” reads one tweet. “Many Ubisoft employees believed he was too powerful and close to the CEO to ever be ousted, no matter how many allegations emerged.”
Yannis Mallat will also be resigning from his role. “The recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for him to continue in this position,” reads the press release.
In tandem with the departure of Cécile Cornet, Ubisoft will be “restructuring and strengthening its HR function in order to adapt it to the new challenges of the video game industry.”
The statement closes with a quote from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. “Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees,” writes Guillemot. “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,” he adds. “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.”
“I also expect them to work to drive the change we need, always thinking of what is best for Ubisoft and all its employees.”
This comes after Guillemot sent an internal letter to all Ubisoft employees last week, in which he confirmed that, “Ubisoft will not tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct.”
The company is also set to launch an anonymous online tool for staff to report abuse, harassment and sexism in the workplace.