French publishing giant Ubisoft has hired Anika Grant as its new chief people officer.
Grant is a human resources vet, having worked in this sector for some 19 years. She started out at tech firm Accenture in 2002 in a HR and, erm, human capital strategy role, and left 14 years later as the HR director for the company's APAC and ASEAN businesses. From there she moved to Uber, rising to a senior director role before departing for Dyson in 2020, where she was global HR director.
Grant joins Ubisoft following the emergence of a disturbing trend of abusive and toxic behaviour at the company's studios around the world. In June the firm started an internal investigation into allegations made against its staff, leading to Ubisoft firing some pretty huge names. This included editorial boss Maxime Béland, as well as chief creative officer Serge Hascoët, Canadian studio MD Yannis Mallat and Rayman creator Michel Ancel.
A survey of Ubisoft staff, published in October of last year, showed that 25 per cent of employees at the company had experienced misconduct at work. In July 2020, CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot laid out the changes Ubisoft was going to be making to ensure its staff were protected, including tweaks to its human resource processes. That's likely going to be part of Grant's role at the firm.
“I’m excited to be part of Ubisoft, whose mission is to provide opportunities for enrichment and self-discovery through innovative and original gaming experiences," Grant said.
"I am also incredibly proud to partner with the talented, passionate people at Ubisoft to deliver on this mission, and confident that together we will continue making Ubisoft an employer of choice, one that offers its team members exciting challenges, a welcoming and open environment, and the freedom to express their creativity every day.”
Ubisoft CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot added: “I am very happy to welcome Anika Grant as our new Chief People Officer. Her energy, optimism and breadth of experience will be great assets to keep evolving our approach to HR and talent management. Working alongside me, Anika’s mission will consist of aligning all our HR teams with a strong, shared vision, building a robust talent pipeline, and implementing innovative and new ways of working. Anika will also be focusing her leadership efforts on strengthening our global corporate culture, ensuring that all our teams can thrive in an environment that promotes a culture of respect, diversity, inclusion and collective wellbeing.”