Three more executives have left Ubisoft in the wake of the allegations of sexual misconduct were lobbied at a number of Ubisoft employees, including chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, head of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and global head of human resources Cécile Cornet.
The trio follow the resignation of VP of editorial Maxime Béland and the suspension of VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François, both of whom were directly implicated in the allegations made.
Serge Hascoët has resigned effective immediately, following claims made by Libération (French, paywall) that he himself was misogynistic, homophobic, drugged employees without their knowledge, and much, much more. He also enabled misconduct by other executives, including Tommy François, who was considered Hascoët’s right-hand man. Both were creative leads within Ubisoft, with Hascoët overseeing production of the Assassin’s Creed series, The Division and more.
Yannis Mallat has also left after allegations against employees at the Canadian studios under his control made it “impossible for him to continue” in the role. And similarly, Cécile Cornet’s position as head of HR could not stand when so many reported cases of abuse were seemingly ignored by her department.
The trio’s departure is another signal of intent by Ubisoft to clean house and take the allegations seriously, both now and going forward, however there is also seemingly some pushback. In particular, the Libération article alleges that the head of HR at Ubisoft Montreal has threatened to resign and take half his HR team with him if Yves Guillemot didn’t absolve them of responsibility for the toxic culture that has grown at the studio.
Since implementing an anonymous alert system, Ubisoft have apparently had over a hundred cases, ranging from moral harassment through to rape, with half of the cases already known to HR and a quarter of the complaints concerning the editorial team.
There’s certainly a very real concern that Ubisoft will make an example of the highest profile names implicated, but that the systemic problems will remain. The head of HR is reported as saying, “Yves [Guillemot] is OK with a toxic management as long as these managers’ results exceed their toxicity level,” giving second, third chances and more so long as they get results.
Libération also writes, “Ubisoft will punish a few people, the most visible, to make a good appearance, but will save all the toxic people whose names have not come out with as much force.”
Of note, Ubisoft did not address these allegations and the actions being taken during the Ubisoft Forward stream last night, instead issuing a tweet beforehand:
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) July 12, 2020
It’s safe to say that the removal of so many high profile executives is a positive step, especially when they seem to be amongst the worst offenders, but we hope to see Ubisoft follow through on their commitment to make the company more inclusive.