Major Execs Out At Ubisoft After Abuse Allegations [UPDATE]
Top executives Serge Hascoët, Yannis Mallat, and Cécile Cornet have stepped down from their roles at Ubisoft after numerous allegations of workplace abuse.
UPDATE (Sunday, 4:00 p.m. ET): Although Cornet has stepped down from her role as Global Head of HR, she has not left Ubisoft, GameSpot’s Tamoor Hussain reports.
Additionally, despite announcing these resignations less than a day before the Ubisoft Forward showcase, the company released a statement through social media saying it won’t address any of its internal issues during the show.
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) July 12, 2020
ORIGINAL: Serge Hascoët, Yannis Mallat, and Cécile Cornet, who were each top executives at Ubisoft, are out of the company after numerous allegations of abuse, sexual misconduct, and harassment within its workplaces.
Ubisoft announced the resignations of all three in a press release sent out Saturday, and are a series of moves that likely mark the start of the structural shift CEO Yves Guillemot outlined back on July 2 that highlighted a complete overhaul of the company’s editorial and human resources departments.
Hascoët, the now former Chief Creative Officer, was Ubisoft’s top creative force, overseeing development on every one of its games.
Mallat was the Managing Director for Ubisoft’s Canadian development studios, hubs in which many of the alleged wrongdoings ran rampant.
Cornet was the company’s Global Head of HR, leading the section of Ubisoft that is ultimately responsible for failing to address any and all problems and bad actors, thus allowing employees to get hurt.
The French developer and publisher said it will be appointing someone else to Cornet’s position, and is in the final steps of hiring an international management consulting firm to rebuild its HR procedures and policies.
“Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees,” Guillemot said as part of the press release. “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.
“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.”
Word of these resignations comes less than a day before Ubisoft’s digital showcase, Ubisoft Forward, and in the midst of a period where the video game industry at large has been forced to look itself in the mirror.
A growing list of victims, not just within Ubisoft, but across multiple studios, media outlets, streaming platforms, and player-driven communities — the FGC and Super Smash Bros. chief among them — have come forward with their stories of abuse, harassment, and assault in the past few weeks, shining a light on ongoing but long-ignored problems and harmful personalities and behaviors that need to be dealt with by everyone in order to establish better, more inclusive environments.
Saturday’s announced resignations join Ashraf Ismail, the Creative Director for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, who stepped away from the project and its respective Ubisoft studio after being accused of infidelity. And while the departure of major names is likely a step in the right direction, it far from clears Ubisoft of its reported internal issues.