While Ubisoft was putting on a confident front for consumers and fans yesterday during their "Ubisoft Forward" presentation, there was further trouble happening behind the scenes.
Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët, global head of HR Cécile Cornet, and managing director of Canadian studios (such as Ubisoft Montreal) Yannis Mallat have officially stepped down from their roles "following the initiation of a rigorous review that the company initiated in response to recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behavior," according to a statement from Ubisoft.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot released his statement regarding the move.
Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees. This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised -- and never will.
I am committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture. Moving forward, as we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that leaders across the company manage their teams with the utmost respect. I also expect them to work to drive the change we need, always thinking of what is best for Ubisoft and all its employees.
Because of Hascoët's departure, Guillemot has indicated he will be taking over the role on an interim basis, noting "a complete overhaul of the way in which the creative teams collaborate."
These departures are coming on the heels of other firings such as Ubisoft Toronto's VP of editorial Maxime Béland and another unnamed Ubisoft Toronto employee, as well as the seemingly voluntary resignation of Ashraf Ismail, creative director on Assassin's Creed Valhalla, following accusations of marital infidelity. Additionally, a fourth executive, Ubisoft HQ's VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François, has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation.