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Ubisoft boss Guillemot lays out company changes in wake of allegations

Ubisoft boss Guillemot lays out company changes in wake of allegations

The CEO of French publisher Ubisoft Yves Guillemot (pictured) has laid out how the company is going to change following allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

In a letter to staff posted on its website, the exec admitted that the firm had "significant work" to do in order to improve its working culture. Guillemot also said that no-one should feel "harassed or disrespected at work" and that this behaviour "will not be tolerated."

The Ubisoft boss announced that it was making some changes at the company, including changing its editorial department, altering its HR processes and making managers more accountable for their employees.

Guillemot also announced the appointment of a new head of workplace culture, Lidwine Sauer, who will be overseeing the efforts to change Ubisoft's culture. Sauer has worked at the French firm for over 20 years and has, starting out in marketing at the company's Paris headquarters before moving to a project manager role at Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab in Zürich.

The firm is also holding listening sessions with staff to hear their grievances and will also be launching a survey for its staff around the world to get honest feedback. That's on top of the on-going investigation into the allegations levelled against Ubisoft staff.

"We are 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 wrote.

"We must do everything we can to ensure no one is in these situations ever again. With this in mind, I also am putting in place a series of initiatives that will serve as a roadmap as we listen, learn, and act. I will need everyone to work together to build and implement them so that respect for others remains one of the pillars of Ubisoft's culture."

Speaking of Sauer's appointment, Guillemot continued: "I have appointed Lidwine Sauer to oversee all our efforts in this area. Lidwine is familiar to some of you from her role as a Projects Director in the Strategic Innovation Lab, and I am very pleased that she has agreed to take on this responsibility. As I already told Lidwine, she is empowered to examine all aspects of our company’s culture and to suggest comprehensive changes that will benefit all of us. Lidwine will report directly to me in this new capacity and will create an international and diverse multidisciplinary working group within Ubisoft to support these efforts. She will share more details with you about this taskforce next week."

This comes amid a wave of allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and misconduct against people working in the games industry. A number of these were levelled against Ubisoft staff, with a number of employees – including two VPs – being put on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.

The IGDA issued a statement earlier in the week condemning the abuse and said that the industry needs to make sure this doesn't happen again.


Editor - PC Games Insider

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he was hired to launch PCGamesInsider.biz for Steel Media before departing the firm in October 2019.

He has also written for GamesIndustry.biz, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.

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