Top Ubisoft Executives Out Amid Allegations Of Company-Wide Misconduct

Photo: Frederic J. Brown, Getty Images
Photo: Frederic J. Brown, Getty Images

Serge Hascoët has resigned as Ubisoft’s chief creative officer after weeks of damning accounts of sexual misconduct throughout the company’s various studios. Yannis Mallat, the powerful head of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios, is also out effective immediately, as is the company’s global head of human resources Cécile Cornet.

The entire press release continues below:

PARIS – July 12, 2020 – Today, Ubisoft announced several significant personnel changes that are a part of the comprehensive work the Company is doing to improve and strengthen its workplace culture. These departures come following the initiation of a rigorous review that the Company initiated in response to recent allegations and accusations of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour.

Serge Hascoët has chosen to resign from his position as Chief Creative Officer, effective immediately. This role will be taken by Yves Guillemot, CEO and Co-Founder of Ubisoft, in the interim. During this time, Mr. Guillemot will personally oversee a complete overhaul of the way in which the creative teams collaborate.

Yannis Mallat, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios, will be stepping down from his role and will leave the Company, effective immediately. The recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for him to continue in this position.

Additionally, Ubisoft will be appointing a new Global Head of HR to replace Cécile Cornet, who has decided to step down from this role, as she believes it is in the best interest of the Company’s unity. A search for her replacement will begin immediately, led by an industry-leading recruiting firm. In parallel, the Company is restructuring and strengthening its HR function in order to adapt it to the new challenges of the video game industry. Ubisoft is in the final steps of hiring a top international management consulting firm to audit and reshape its HR procedures and policies, as previously announced.

These changes are part of a comprehensive set of initiatives announced to employees on July 2, 2020. These initiatives are guiding Ubisoft’s renewed commitment to fostering an environment that its employees, partners and communities can be proud of – one that reflects Ubisoft’s values and that is safe for everyone.

In a company-wide letter obtained by Kotaku, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot informed employees about the situation.

In my last message to you, I laid out a series of initiatives that are guiding us as we begin making significant changes within Ubisoft. I also committed to looking across our entire organisation, at all levels and geographies, to determine where and how we have fallen short in our guarantee to provide a safe and inclusive workplace environment for all of you. Over the past few weeks, I have been engaged in this rigorous review, and today I want to let you know of some important personnel changes that are a part of reshaping the way we work together.

Serge Hascoët has chosen to resign from his position as Chief Creative Officer, effective immediately. Serge’s decision comes after in-depth discussions we have had together. Following these conversations, I believe, and Serge agrees, that now is the right time for a change. I will take on the CCO role temporarily as we work to define and organise the leadership of the Editorial Department. During this time, I will also personally oversee a complete overhaul of the way in which this team works. My goal is to create an inclusive and open culture that embraces more diverse and multidisciplinary expertise. I will communicate more details about these changes in due course.

Yannis Mallat, Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Canadian studios, will be stepping down from his role and will leave the Company effective immediately. The recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for him to continue in this position.

Additionally, I will be appointing a new Global Head of HR to replace Cécile Cornet, who has decided that it is in the best interest of the company’s unity for her to step down from her role as Global Head of HR. This search will begin immediately, and we will be working with an industry-leading firm to identify the right person. We need to strengthen our HR function, restructure it further and adapt it to the new challenges of our industry. In doing this, we will better serve and support you. We are hiring a top international management consulting firm to audit and reshape our HR procedures and policies.

Toxic behaviours are unacceptable and are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised — and never will. As we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that every leader across this organisation manages 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 all of you and for Ubisoft.

Yves

Hascoët was the most senior creative force at Ubisoft during his decades-long tenure, responsible for overseeing every aspect of creative production on series like Rayman, Assassin’s Creed, and The Division. A recent report from French newspaper Libération publicized allegations of misconduct against Hascoët as well as his enabling of similar behaviour by high-level executives like vice president of editorial and creative services Tommy François, who was previously on disciplinary leave.

Malatt, who has been the head of Ubisoft Montreal since 2006 and oversaw the rest of the company’s presence in Canada, is out following the numerous allegations of misconduct that have plagued his studios, most specifically Ubisoft Toronto as Kotaku reported last week.

Cornet, also according to Libération, has been accused of an inadequate response to the allegations as head of human relations.

Log in to comment on this story!