Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot Releases Statement Amidst Company's Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Ubisoft committed to making long term changes after multiple claims of abuse within the organization.
The gaming industry is in a bad place at the moment with many victims of sexual assault, abuse and harassment bravely coming forward and sharing their stories prompting companies like Ubisoft and Twitch to speak out. The most recent cases include a spate of competitive Super Smash Bros. players and commentators and the co-founder and president of Evo, Joey Cueller, which has ultimately led to this year’s event being canceled.
Ubisoft themselves have had multiple issues, including the most high-profile of which that saw the director of Assassins Creed: Valhalla, Ashraf Ismail, leave the project, and company, due to allegations of sexual misconduct. These allegations saw Ubisoft release a statement back in June that stated the company needed to “do better” to create “an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities.”
On top of this now, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Ubisoft Yves Guillemot has released his own statement, titled “Change Starts Today”, that outlays plans to reform the”Editorial Department, transform our human resource processes, and improve the accountability of all managers on these subjects.”
An internal letter from Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) July 2, 2020
Yves states “We are not looking for a quick fix, but rather a structural shift at Ubisoft that fully aligns with our values – values that do not tolerate toxic behaviors and where everyone feels safe to speak out. “. This shift includes appointing Lidwine Sauer as the newly created Head of Workplace Culture role where she will “examine all aspects of our company’s culture and to suggest comprehensive changes that will benefit all of us.”
Ubisoft will also now be undertaking staff listening sessions in all of their locations and will be launching an internal global survey that will be looking for candid, anonymous feedback designed to help reshape the company.
Yves also reiterated that the previously announced investigations into the allegations are still ongoing and “we must take the time necessary to ensure that they are carried out with the required rigor. When they are concluded, all appropriate actions will be taken. Should additional allegations or claims be brought to our attention, we will fully investigate those, as well”. This has also led Ubisoft to create a confidential alert platform that will allow employees and those outside of the company to report harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate behavior.
The final actions Yves outlines are an external audit of all policies and procedures within the company in order to improve them and make them “best in class” and the creation of a Head of Diversity and Inclusion role that is designed to improve “diversity across the organization, including in all of our management teams.”
While it’s never good seeing these reports come out, it’s refreshing to see Yves and Ubisoft make such a statement of intent committed to vital and much needed change within the company.