Following an unprecedented wave of harassment claims against senior personnel in 2020, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has defended the company’s efforts to improve itself.
Speaking to GI.biz, Guillemot dismissed claims that the business had made little progress following the harassment crisis. He spoke on high-profile firings, new organisational structures, and his decision to remain as CEO despite how toxic Ubisoft’s environment had grown to be.
We want to ensure an inclusive, rewarding and respectful workplace for all. Yes, we stumbled and we have acknowledged that. We learned a lot along the way and have made meaningful progress.”
The interview came three days after members of the A Better Ubisoft campaign criticised the company’s response to claims of employee mistreatment by sitting down with the AC Sisterhood blog Speaking anonymously, campaign staff revealed that several Ubisoft employees who have been accused of abusive behaviour still work for the company, with some of them even obtaining promotions in the past two years.
Although Guillemot didn’t specifically address the complaints raised by A Better Ubisoft, he covered much of the same ground. Regarding accused abusers presently employed by the business, he added, “We have done a lot, and I think we are a company that can be proud of itself.”
Guillemot also discussed organisational adjustments done at Ubisoft to improve communication between executives and staff. He cites several examples of the company’s ongoing cultural change, including implementing a company-wide staff survey and weekly meetings between employee groups and leadership teams, including Guillemot himself.
Finally, Guillemot addressed the issue of his continued leadership of the business; Many people questioned why Guillemot didn’t resign when the severity of the situation became clear, given that the toxic culture that has plagued Ubisoft grew under his watch.
It is evident that I had a responsibility to take care of the situation so that we could get back to what we were before: a company where people feel they could be themselves and come together to create the best games.
My goal when I co-founded the company was to create a place where you can always be yourself and realising that the company was failing to achieve that goal was “really disturbing” for its longtime CEO. It was obvious for me to go and take care of that situation, so we could go back to what we have been for a long time.”
Given Guillemot’s interview and A Better Ubisoft’s evidence, it would be unreasonable to imply that the business even at the higher level of management isn’t sincerely committed to resolving its issues. The statements of Guillemot clearly suggest that Ubisoft is committed to enhancing its workplace environment.