Following report into sexism and toxicity, Bungie head of HR steps down

Bungie office
(Image credit: Glassdoor)
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Earlier this month, IGN published a damning report on Bungie's work culture (opens in new tab) after interviewing 26 of the studio's staff. Those interviewed, both current and former employees, complained of pervasive sexism and "boys' club culture," heavy crunch, and protection of abusers. "It's a well-known fact, if you talk to HR you're putting your own job on the line," one employee was quoted as saying. "HR has never been there to protect employees. They've always been there to protect the company. I've watched it happen a few times at Bungie, where someone went to HR and things went completely sideways for them."

Following the report, Bungie's CEO Pete Parsons apologized. "Speaking with the team at Bungie," he said, "reading the stories, and seeing both known and newly surfaced accounts, it is clear we still have work ahead of us." Now, according to a company email obtained by IGN (opens in new tab), the studio's head of HR Gayle d'Hondt has stepped down from her position.

In the email, d'Hondt reportedly explained that Bungie's HR team needed fresh blood to be seen as trustworthy. "I know that they need to be trusted to be your advocates – not labeled as 'enablers' or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbor," the email is quoted as saying.

IGN also quotes a mention of dHondt's 14 years of work at the company including challenges like reporting someone for abusing her personally, "a man, an executive, and someone I thought was my friend at Bungie — which resulted in Bungie firing him."

Whether d'Hondt will remain at the studio in a different capacity is unknown.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

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 (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.