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CEO promises to eliminate 'toxic behaviors' at Ubisoft

 

Agence France-Presse

Paris  /  Sat, July 4, 2020  /  09:02 pm
CEO promises to eliminate 'toxic behaviors' at Ubisoft

Gaming fans play Ubisoft games at the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo, also known as E3, opening in Los Angeles, California on June 11, 2019. (AFP/Frederic J. Brown)

The head of Ubisoft has promised a "structural shift" to eliminate toxic behavior 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, apologized 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 behaviors 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 rigor.

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

Ubisoft representatives were unable to say 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 behavior by powerful managers.

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Incidents alleged on Twitter include a Ubisoft creative director licking the face of a female co-worker during an office party, and a manager demanding oral sex from a colleague. 

"I am a former employee and they swept every claim of sexual harassment under the rug," read one tweet.

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

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