Yves Guillemot, CEO at Ubisoft, has released a statement reflecting on the past year of changes the company has made since facing a wave of accusations of a toxic workplace environment and evidence of workplace harassment that saw the dismissal of several key figures from the company in 2020.
In the statement itself posted to the Ubisoft blog, Guillemot said “Last June, we faced the fact that not all team members were experiencing the safe and inclusive workplace that we had always intended Ubisoft to be. Since then, we have engaged in a company-wide effort to listen, learn and build a roadmap for a better Ubisoft for all.”
According to Guillemot, Ubisoft set up several channels where team members could report behaviour anonymously, and such reports would be treated by an independent external partner to guarantee impartiality. A series of investigations were launched as a result of these reports, and “appropriate actions, including training, disciplinary sanctions and dismissals” were subsequently undertaken.
Several group wide assessments involving more than 14,000 employees have apparently also been done since last year, and 2000 employees have also taken part in focus groups. New HR processes and an updated Code of Fair Conduct have apparently also been been implemented, with said code to be mandatory for all members of staff at Ubisoft to sign when it’s published in June. Anti-harassment training sessions and additional mandatory training modules specifically on anti-harassment and anti-discrimination are also said to be deployed.
Many new hires at the executive level are also mentioned in the statement, including new roles such as the Head of Workplace Culture Lidwine Sauer, VP of Global Diversity and Inclusion Raashi Sikka and an overhaul of the management at Ubisoft’s Montreal studio to “support our overall growth strategy and instil a more diversified vision.”
Concluding, Guillemot says “Considerable progress has been made, and we will continue to work hard with the ambition of becoming an exemplary workplace in the tech industry. The teams at Ubisoft continue to impress me with their engagement on this journey.” and also added “Management — myself included — have a responsibility to act as role models and be exemplary for our teams. I want to stress my personal commitment to continue to improve our workplace culture and create real, lasting and positive change at Ubisoft.”
The statement came somewhat in response to French publication Le Telegramme, who reported earlier this month following their own investigation that, in spite of promises made last year by Guillemot that the Assassin’s Creed publisher would do better, there had so far been a minimal impact. Whether the moves mentioned in Guillemot’s statement will ultimately help turn things around for the company’s culture in a more tangible sense soon, only time will tell.
An update on the ongoing changes at Ubisoft from our CEO Yves Guillemot
— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) May 24, 2021