Ubisoft CEO Addresses Misconduct Allegations in Open Letter
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot published an open letter Monday discussing the changes the company has made to combat the alleged toxic work environment described in reports from late June. The letter, titled "A Year of Change at Ubisoft," acknowledged the concerns raised, and recapped the steps taken to improve conditions.
"Last June, we faced the fact that not all team members were experiencing the safe and inclusive workplace that we had always intended Ubisoft to be," Guillemot wrote. "Since then, we have engaged in a company-wide effort to listen, learn, and build a roadmap for a better Ubisoft for all."
According to Guillemot, Ubisoft has created several channels through which employees can report inappropriate behavior, including one that guarantees anonymity. Those reports go to an independent external partner to ensure impartiality.
Based on reports received through these channels, Guillemot says the company has added training seminars, implemented disciplinary sanctions, and dismissed offenders.
Thousands of Ubisoft employees participated in group-wide assessments of the company. An audit of the company's HR organization, processes and policies, leading to what Guillemot describes as newly strengthened non-discrimination and anti-harassment policies in accordance with its updated internal Code of Fair Conduct.
"The Code is clearer, more comprehensive, and more actionable. It will be mandatory for all team members to sign when it is published in June," Guillemot wrote.
Employees in teams around the globe have taken part in anti-harassment training, some of which will become mandatory alongside anti-discrimination training in the future.
Managers at Ubisoft will now have their pay tied to a performance criterion based on their "ability to care for people, behave inclusively, and foster a safe and respectful work environment."
Guillemot also highlighted several new hires that the company hopes will help diversify and secure its culture. Among them are Anika Grant, who joined as chief people officer in April, and Raashi Sikka, who took the newly created vice president of global diversity & inclusion role in February.
The company promoted Bio Jade Adam Granger to vice president of editorial in part because of her plans to bring more diverse voices to the company's games.
Guillemot's letter comes on the heels of a report that claimed Ubisoft had done little in response to the misconduct allegations. Guillemot took issue with the report at the time, and reiterated his company's commitment to improving conditions in his letter.
"Considerable progress has been made, and we will continue to work hard with the ambition of becoming an exemplary workplace in the tech industry." he wrote.
"Management — myself included — have a responsibility to act as role models and be exemplary for our teams. I want to stress my personal commitment to continue to improve our workplace culture and create real, lasting and positive change at Ubisoft."
When reports detailing Ubisoft's alleged sexist and abusive workplace culture first emerged last year, Guillemot claimed he was unaware of the problems despite reportage showing other executives enabled the culture. Some of those executives have since exited the company, including Guillemot's close friend and chief creative officer Serge Hascoët.
Ubisoft plans to host a Ubisoft Forward 2021 showcase in June. It has previously refrained from discussing its workplace issues during similar events.