Bungie’s head of HR steps down following reports of toxic studio culture

An email sent to employees from d'Hondt says the studio must "acknowledge and confront" its mistakes

Gayle d’Hondt – head of HR at Bungie – is stepping down from her position within the studio, just under a week after a report into Bungie’s allegedly toxic work environment surfaced.

IGN has reported that d’Hondt stepped down from her role today (December 16) and acknowledged issues with Bungie’s culture in an email sent to employees. This follows an article by IGN that alleged the studio was mired in a culture of toxicity and crunch.

In an email sent by d’Hondt, she reportedly said she wants to do “everything in my power to make sure everyone who works here has a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment”.

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She added that it would be best if replacements to Bungie’s people team were “largely comprised of people new to Bungie,” and acknowledged that “I know they need to be trusted to be your advocates – not labelled as ‘enablers’ or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbour”.

Destiny 2 guardians
Destiny 2. Credit: Bungie

In the same email, d’Hondt reportedly said she had dealt with “deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts” in her time at the studio, including firing employees for “performance, bad behaviour, and for discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment.”

Elaborating, d’Hondt said this included reporting her own “executive” abuser, which resulted in his termination.

Wrapping up her email, d’Hondt left Bungie employees with the following message:

“I am proud of the work I did at this company. I believe I made recommendations that were in the best interest of our people and in service of the company we wish to become. I also believe we made some mistakes, and that to become the better version of ourselves – the company I know we can be – we have to acknowledge and confront them, in good faith, and grow together.”

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In other news, spoilers for Elden Ring seem to be circulating online after hackers used a jailbroken PS4 to datamine the game.

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