CEO promises to eliminate ‘toxic behaviours’ at Ubisoft

PARIS (AFP) – The head of Ubisoft promised a “structural shift” to eliminate toxic behaviour following allegations of sexual assault and harassment by managers at the French video game publisher.

Ubisoft, whose games portfolio includes Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s, Far Cry and Watch Dogs, and is one of the world’s top gaming companies, apologised last week and launched an investigation after the claims were made on social media.

In a letter to employees on Thursday, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said the company is “not looking for a quick fix, but rather a structural shift at Ubisoft that fully aligns with our values – values that do not tolerate toxic behaviours and where everyone feels safe to speak out.”

Guillemot acknowledged that employees were eager for the probes to wrap up, but said it was important they are conducted with rigour.

“When they are concluded, all appropriate actions will be taken,” he said.

Ubisoft representatives were unable to say on Thursday if anyone had been suspended pending the outcome of the investigations. The French firm which counts 18,000 employees worldwide will also conduct a survey and employee listening sessions.

A senior manager has been appointed to examine the company’s workplace culture.

Ubisoft is the latest player in the gaming industry to be the target of such accusations, after staff and former staff in other companies took to social media recently to denounce predatory behaviour by powerful managers.

Guillemot acknowledged “the situations that some of you have experienced or witnessed are absolutely not acceptable”.