Tommy François has officially left Ubisoft, amidst allegations and investigations of sexual abuse, harassment and misconduct across the company.
The publisher confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz today that François has “left the company, effective immediately.” However, no further details were given.
François was VP for editorial and creative services, one of the most senior creative roles within the company, but was placed on disciplinary leave alongside VP Editorial Maxime Béland. Béland departed the company shortly afterwards, while three further Ubisoft execs following him out the door the following week, including François’ boss Serge Hascoët.
However, François stuck it out, remaining on leave through July until now.
The news emerged via Business Insider’s Samuel Horti, who tweeted to state that he had seen an email sent by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot.
NEW – Tommy François has left Ubisoft, CEO Yves Guillemot told staff earlier this week. François, VP of editorial and creative services, was on administrative leave, pending the results of an investigation into sexual harassment at the video game company
— Samuel Horti (@SamuelHorti) August 2, 2020
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot notably did not address the allegations or how the company are now acting upon them during the Ubisoft Forward stream in July, but pledged to enact change throughout the company, starting with the appointment of a Head of Workplace Culture and opening a new executive role for Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
However, there have been further damning reports. Within days of implementing an anonymous alert system, Ubisoft 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. Bloomberg reported that Ubisoft Paris was like a “frat house” with open racism and misogyny, with similarly disgusting reports coming from Ubisoft Sofia and Ubisoft Toronto.
Naturally there is a process to addressing these allegations, and Ubisoft have sought outside help to investigate. That so many have been implicated and left through the course of these investigations is a good sign of progress, but needs to be followed up through the rest of the company.