Ubisoft sexual harassment probe claims three more executives

By Agence France-Presse

The second most powerful executive at French gaming company Ubisoft is among more senior staff to have left the firm as it pursues an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations.

Last month the company, one of the world’s largest video game publishers with a portfolio including Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, launched a probe after allegations of sexual misconduct were shared online.

Serge Hascoet, chief creative officer and the company’s second-in-command, has resigned, as has the human resources director, Cecile Cornet, and the managing director of the Canadian branch, Yannis Mallat, Ubisoft said on Sunday.

“The recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for [Mallat] to continue in this position,” it said.

Another two top executives left earlier in July after current and former employees used social media to denounce predatory behaviour by managers.

“Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees,” its chief executive and co-founder, Yves Guillemot, said.

“This is unacceptable as toxic behaviours are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised – and never will,” he said.

He was “committed to implementing profound changes across the company to improve and strengthen our workplace culture”.

Guillemot would take over Hascoet’s role temporarily as he oversaw a staffing overhaul.

Ubisoft has 18,000 employees worldwide and is the latest video game company to face sexual harassment allegations.

The global game industry has been dogged by criticism over its treatment of women in both games and real life.

This was encapsulated in the so-called “gamergate” controversy in the United States in 2014, which saw critics of the way women were depicted in games receive death and rape threats, prompting calls to reform the industry’s culture.