Ubisoft promises significant changes after several executives have been accused of sexual misconduct
Ubisoft makes a number of internal changes in response to allegations of misconduct against multiple employees, including two executives accused of groping and otherwise sexually abusing female employees, who surfaced last week. The company has already sent those employees on leave and initiated an investigation into the abuse. Ubisoft now promises to undergo a “structural shift” to create a safer work environment and improve accountability.
Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, outlined the changes an email sent to employees on Thursday that Ubisoft also shared on his blog. “The situations that some of you have experienced or witnessed are absolutely not acceptable,” said Guillemot. “No one should ever feel harassed or disrespected at work, and the kind of inappropriate behavior we’ve heard about recently cannot and will not be tolerated.”
As part of the changes, Guillemot appoints a corporate culture chief who is “empowered to investigate all aspects of our corporate culture and propose comprehensive changes that will benefit all of us,” he said. He has appointed Lidwine Sauer, Ubisoft’s director of insights and trends for the company’s Strategic Innovation Lab. She will create a task force around the effort and report to Guillemot. Guillemot also announced that Ubisoft will create a new role for a diversity and inclusion head who will report to him.
Ubisoft will also organize listening sessions for employees from Monday. “These are not question-and-answer sessions or city hall meetings; the purpose of these sessions is to listen actively and thoughtfully to your experiences and concerns, as well as your suggestions for improvement, ”said Guillemot. They are moderated by external facilitators, he said. The company also plans to launch a global employee survey.
Guillemot reiterated that independent third parties are conducting a series of investigations into allegations against Ubisoft employees, although he did not raise any of the specific allegations, nor did he say who or how many people are currently being investigated. We know that allegations have also been made against the man who heads it Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft’s flagship next-gen title, which has since been taken a leave of absence.
Ubisoft has also set up an ‘online confidential alert platform’, according to Guillemot, which is operated by whistleblowing platform Whispli. The company is also “selecting an external consultancy to monitor and improve our procedures and policies,” said Guillemot, promising the results of the audit and the changes the company will make when it is complete, to share.
Guillemot’s blog comes hours after the high-profile reveal of Ubisoft’s latest game, the free-to-play battle royale shooter Hyper Scape, which skyrocketed to the top of the Twitch viewer charts shortly after the tech test went live earlier today. It also not only follows allegations of misconduct at Ubisoft, but also a larger account of powerful figures in the video game industry accused of abuse.