Ubisoft VP resigns following assault and misconduct allegations. Maxime Béland, the editorial vice-president of Ubisoft, has resigned after accusations of assault and misconduct that have emerged in recent weeks. Kotaku first reported that Béland had stepped down and Ubisoft confirmed to Engadget that he had resigned.
Both Béland and Tommy François, the vice president of editorial and creative services at the studio, have reportedly been placed on disciplinary leave late in June.
Ubisoft has since confirmed that François is on leave pending the outcome of an investigation and that he has fired another employee at his Toronto studio for “committing to behaviors that are not in line with Ubisoft employees’ expectations.”
A dozen current and former employees of Ubisoft Toronto spoke with Kotaku, who today released a comprehensive article regarding alleged harassment at the studio.
They “described an overall workplace culture that undervalues women’s contributions, normalizes sexism and harassment, and makes excuses for the worst offenders while complaints about them go unheeded.” At one point, Béland’s wife Rima Brek was reportedly the studio’s interim head of HR, and the department had a “reputation for being unhelpful at best,” according to Kotaku.
Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, published a letter to employees last week outlining a plan for overhauling the culture of the company. As well as inquiries into bullying allegations, Ubisoft has developed a way of openly disclosing “harassment, prejudice and other unacceptable behaviours.”
The company will also revamp the Editorial Group (which until recently consisted entirely of white males), reassign an employee to oversee workplace culture and hire a head of diversity and inclusion.