Ubisoft’s co-founder and CEO, Yves Guillemot, has detailed a series of steps he intends to implement at the company to combat problems of discrimination and mistreatment. This includes restructuring the editorial department, improving human resources processes, and ensuring all managers are held accountable on these subjects.
In a lengthy blog post, Guillemot said fundamental changes need to occur at all levels of Ubisoft. “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 behaviors and where everyone feels safe to speak out,” Guillemot said. “We must do everything we can to ensure no one is in these situations ever again.”
The first of these changes is the appointment of a “Head of Workplace Culture.” Lidwine Sauer, who serves as Ubisoft’s projects director in the Strategic Innovation Lab, has taken on the role and will be in charge of examining all aspects of Ubisoft’s culture, as well as suggesting changes that will be beneficial to the company. She will also form an “international and diverse multidisciplinary working group” to support these efforts.
Guillemot also said that Ubisoft will begin holding employee listening sessions and global employee surveys. The listening sessions will function as places for upper management to listen to feedback both good and bad. And just as it sounds, the global surveys will be a chance for employees to anonymously get candid about concerns and experiences at Ubisoft.
With regard to recent allegations levied against Ubisoft executives and employees, Guillemot announced that Ubisoft has set up an online confidential alert system that allows internal and external individuals to file reports of harassment, discrimination, and other inappropriate behaviors. The filing system is being hosted by third-party whistleblower platform Whispli and will be reviewed by a committee of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and legal experts.
Finally, Guillemot said Ubisoft is seeking an external consulting firm to review and improve the company’s policies and procedures, as well as creating a new “Head of Diversity and Inclusion” position to ameliorate diversity across the company, especially at the upper management levels.
All of this comes hot off the heels of the games industry’s reckoning with #MeToo allegations, with several high-profile figureheads–from former Dying Light 2 writer Chris Avellone to Evo president Joey Cuellar–being accused of inappropriate and predatory behavior from several members within the community.