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Bungie's Head of HR Steps Down From Role, Details Reporting Her Own Abuser

After 14 years, Bungie Senior Employee Relations Manager Gayle d'Hondt announced plans to step down from her role Thursday.
After 14 years, Bungie Senior Employee Relations Manager Gayle d'Hondt announced plans to step down from her role Thursday. / Image courtesy of Bungie

Less than a week removed from an IGN report shedding light on Bungie's struggles with an apparent toxic workplace culture circulated online, the company's senior employee relations manager Gayle d'Hondt has announced plans to step down from her role, according to IGN.

After serving as the studio's head of HR since 2007, d'Hondt sent out a company-wide email seen in full by IGN that explained her decision to make the change, as well as her experiences with the reported instances of "sexism," "boys' club culture," mandatory overtime (also known as "crunch"), "HR protection of abusers," "microaggressions," "systemic inequalities" and more.

As reported by IGN, d'Hondt cited that the company's HR team needs to "move forward" with membership "largely comprised of people new to Bungie" in order to ensure that those who work there have a "safe, welcoming, and supportive environment."

"I know that they need to be trusted to be your advocates — not labeled as 'enablers' or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbor," d'Hondt reportedly wrote.

D'Hondt also went on to share that amid her time working through "deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts," including termination of employees for "performance, bad behavior, and for discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment," she too had reported an abuser.

"A man, an executive, and someone I thought was my friend at Bungie — which resulted in Bungie firing him," d'Hondt reportedly wrote.

While it seems unclear whether or not d'Hondt will be leaving Bungie altogether just yet, she seemingly added that she will be working with the leadership team to determine what the appropriate next steps are.

"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."