A little over a week after Ubisoft said that it is "looking very closely" into allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct (opens in new tab) made against multiple employees, CEO Yves Guillemot has issued a public statement (opens in new tab) promising changes including a shakeup of the editorial deparment, a "transformation" of its human resources processes, and better accountability among managers.
"The situations that some of you have experienced or witnessed are absolutely not acceptable," Guillemot wrote. "No one should ever feel harassed or disrespected at work, and the types of inappropriate behavior we have recently learned about cannot and will not be tolerated. To those of you who have spoken up or have supported colleagues, I want to be clear: you are heard, and you are helping drive necessary change within the company.
"We have significant work to do to improve the ways in which we operate and collaborate, and I am personally committed to ensuring we make these fundamental changes. They need to be profound, and we need to implement them quickly at all levels of the organization."
Guillemot said that Ubisoft is looking to make a "structural shift" away from toxic behaviors. To help push that forward, he has appointed Lidwine Sauer (opens in new tab), formerly a projects director in Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab, as Head of Workplace Culture. Sauer, who will report directly to Guillemot, "is empowered to examine all aspects of our company’s culture and to suggest comprehensive changes that will benefit all of us."
Ubisoft will also hold a series of "listening sessions" across all its locations, moderated by external parties, will create and launch a global, anonymous survey, will employ an external consulting firm to review and and improve its procedures and policies, and is creating a new Head of Diversity and Inclusion management position, which will also report directly to Guillemot.
As for the claims against some of its employees, which include accusations of sexual assault, Guillemot said that investigations by external agencies are still underway.
"I know that many of you are eager to hear the results of these investigations," he wrote. "However, we must take the time necessary to ensure that they are carried out with the required rigor. When they are concluded, all appropriate actions will be taken. Should additional allegations or claims be brought to our attention, we will fully investigate those, as well."
Ubisoft has also set up a confidential online platform, administered by Whispli (opens in new tab), that will enable employees and "external individuals" to report harassment and other inappropriate behavior. Complaints will be reviewed by a committee made up of a CSR (corporate social responsibility) committee and legal experts.