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Multiple Ubisoft executives step down amid workplace abuse allegations

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Ubisoft has announced that several of the company's executives have stepped down amid a scandal involving allegations of workplace misconduct and harassment. Chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, the managing director of Ubisoft's Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and global head of human resources Cécile Cornet have all stepped down from their positions as part of what a press release calls "the comprehensive work the Company is doing to improve and strengthen its workplace culture." 

"These departures come following the initiation of a rigorous review that the Company initiated in response to recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior," it says. There will also be a "restructuring and strengthening" of Ubisoft's HR policies and structure.

The statement follows the resignation of Ubisoft vice president Maxime Beland amidst allegations of workplace abuse, as well as the publication of a report by French newspaper Libération claiming to expose a toxic working culture at Ubisoft. You can read a partial translation of that report at Eurogamer. It describes multiple instances of verbal and physical abuse.

According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, Hascoët "was the man in charge of ALL of [Ubisoft's] games," and "with one word he could greenlight or cancel a project."

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Yves Guillemot, CEO and co-founder of Ubisoft, is temporarily stepping into the position of chief creative officer. "Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised—and never will. I am committed to implementing profound changes across the Company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture," Guillemot said.

At tomorrow's Ubisoft Forward event the company is expected to reveal more details about games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Watch Dogs Legion, Hyper Scape, and Far Cry 6. Though the showcase will be pre-recorded, it's possible a further statement or elaboration will be made at that time.

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and actually did play every Warhammer videogame.