Ubisoft: faced with harassment accusations, the CEO promises “change”

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Posted on Jul 3, 2020 at 11:12 a.m.

A manager “incapable of interacting with women without constantly making sexual allusions”. A “toxic atmosphere”, Lax HR management, repeated sexual harassment … Since last week, the French company and global video game giant Ubisoft has been at the center of a series of accusations concerning the behavior of some of its executives .

An ex-employee explains that a colleague had asked her for fellatio during a party while she was still working at her office, others relate that such a creative director of the Montreal studio had “licked the face” of an employee at a company party. History has first been revealed by Bloomberg , indicating that two executives and several other employees of the company had been laid off, within the framework of an investigation into allegations of faults made public in a wave of Twitter messages. Faced with this, the CEO of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot, had initially reacted saying to be “deeply affected”. In the end, a dozen high-ranking managers were accused of sexual harassment.

“Structural change”

And a few days ago, the daily Liberation added a layer , revealing a series of testimonies, more precise and always more condemnable. The accusations are multiplying and are similar: “boy club”, touching, assault … A “me too” in the world of video games which harshly damages the reputation of the number three in the sector.

Faced with this, Yves Guillemot now promises a “structural change” within the company: “The situations that some and some of you have experienced or that you have witnessed are unacceptable,” wrote the CEO of Ubisoft. to the 18,000 employees of the group worldwide, in a message consulted by AFP. “I want to say to those who have spoken or who have supported colleagues: you are heard and you are helping to drive the necessary changes within the company,” he adds, promising “fundamental changes”. implemented “very quickly, at all levels”.

He announced that he had “decided to review the composition” of his editorial department, where one of the vice-presidents on whom numerous accusations are based is involved. He also said he wanted to transform HR processes, and “make all of our managers more responsible on these subjects”.

However, Ubisoft’s press service was unable to say on Thursday evening whether anyone had been laid off. “We are not targeting margin adjustments. What we want to implement is a structural change within Ubisoft, in total adequacy with our values ​​which do not tolerate any toxic behavior and ensure that everyone feels safe to express themselves, “insists the CEO in his message.

He mentions in particular the establishment of “listening groups”, an anonymous questionnaire, as well as an online confidential alert platform called Whispli “allowing employees as well as external people to report any harassment, discrimination and other inappropriate behavior ”.

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