Ubisoft CEO outlines changes to company following misconduct investigation

A company-wide survey revealed that one in five employees don't feel “fully respected or safe in the work environment”

Following the recent string of toxic workplace environment and misconduct allegations within Ubisoft, its CEO Yves Guillemot has now outlined the changes it is striving to implement after conducting a company-wide survey.

The results of the survey – which was started “shortly after the initial allegations” surfaced and conducted by a third-party research firm, according to The Verge – was shared by Guillemot in an email to employees on Friday (October 2), and was subsequently shared with media outlets by Ubisoft PR.

The survey revealed that one in four employees in Ubisoft had experienced or witnessed misconduct firsthand. Additionally, one in five employees do not feel “fully respected or safe in the work environment”. The survey also showed that women at Ubisoft were 30 per cent more likely to experience or witness discrimination than men. Non-binary employees were 43 per cent more susceptible to discrimination.

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Guillemot’s goals moving forward include ensuring women comprise at least 24 per cent of Ubisoft’s teams by 2023. Currently, only 22 per cent of the team are women. The company, which has been criticised for its lack of diversity in stories in recent months, is also on the search for new executives and a Head of Diversity and Inclusion to “complement the Editorial team and help create more diverse and inclusive games”.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Credit: Ubisoft

The Verge also noted that a number of Ubisoft’s executives and creative leaders have been removed from their roles or fired from the company, although it’s unclear if the info was stated in the email. The list allegedly includes Tommy François, Maxime Béland, Ashraf Ismail, Serge Hascoët and Yannis Mallat.

Guillemot also said that the investigation highlighted how Ubisoft’s current management lacks “sensitivity […] on all matters of diversity, inclusion and respect”, noting that “only 66 per cent of respondents who reported an incident felt they had received the support they needed”. Ubisoft is also set to revise its company code of conduct to address these issues.

Following the survey, Guillemot also pointed out “four closely related areas in which we need to improve quickly”. They include ensuring a safe work environment for all employees, putting diversity and inclusion at the forefront, refocusing the HR department and making managers accountable.

Last month, Guillemot issued an apology to “everyone who was hurt” by the company’s toxic workplace culture. He stated that the company would also “invest $1million over the next five years in our graduate programme. The focus will be on creating opportunities for under-represented groups, including women and people of colour”.

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