Two Ubisoft execs leave after sexual harassment allegations
PARIS: Last month, Ubisoft said it launched an investigation into claims of sexual assault and harassment levelled against some of its employees.
Two top executives from one of the world’s largest gaming companies have left the firm during an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and abuse.
Last month, French company Ubisoft – whose products include Assassin’s Creed – launched an investigation after allegations of sexual assault and harassment were shared online.
CEO Yves Guillemot wrote in a message to the company’s 18,000 employees late Friday that Maxime Beland, vice-president of editorial in Toronto, had resigned.
“We continue to investigate the allegations made against him,” Guillemot added, without specifying the allegations.
Tommy Francois, vice-president of editorial and creative services based in Paris, was placed on disciplinary leave “pending the outcome of an investigation”, Guillemot said in the message seen by AFP.
Another unnamed employee in the Toronto studio has been dismissed for “engaging in behaviours that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees”, he said.
“Other investigations are ongoing and will be conducted rigorously.”
“We cannot tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination and other behaviours that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct.”
Ubisoft is the latest player in the gaming industry to be the target of harassment accusations.
Toxic work culture
In June, current and former employees used social media recently to denounce predatory behaviour by powerful managers.
Several allegations by former or current Ubisoft staff appeared on Twitter, accusing managers in Ubisoft’s Toronto and Montreal studios of sexual misconduct and denouncing a toxic work environment for women.
Accusations also targeted managers in Brazil, Bulgaria and the United States, with some of the alleged incidents going back years.
Some named the alleged perpetrators, and many accused the company of failing to respond to staff complaints, sometimes even promoting those accused of wrongdoing.