Harassment: three senior Ubisoft executives resign

Number two Serge Hascoët and the head of the Canadian studios are leaving the video game publisher, while HRD Cécile Cornet resigns her post.

Under pressure from several press inquiries in France, Canada and the United States, the video game publisher Ubisoft announced on the night of Saturday to Sunday three resignations of weight at the top of the company: the creative director Serge Hascoët , Director of Human Resources Cécile Cornet, and Director of Canadian Studios, Yannis Mallat. These departures “follow a rigorous review the company conducted in response Ubisoft said in a statement. Contacted by the Figaro, Ubisoft clarified that Cécile Cornet is leaving her post but remains an employee of the company. It has been present there since 1997.

, on social networks and then in the media, to denounce facts of misconduct or sexual harassment on the part of senior officers of the publisher. “Ubisoft has not been able to guarantee its employees a safe and inclusive work environment. It’s not acceptable», Says CEO Yves Guillemot in the press release. The publisher set up an internal tool last week to allow its employees to anonymously report cases of assault or harassment. According to information from Release published on Saturday,. The latter are accused of having hushed up these cases.

Resignation of number 2

Among the resignations announced on Saturday, that of Serge Hascoët is the most emblematic. Joined Ubisoft at the end of the 1980s, this Breton is considered the number two of the company and the right arm of Yves Guillemot. Creative Director, Serge Hascoët has supervised Ubisoft’s games for twenty years and spurred their “editorial slant“. Its service, based in Montreuil, has the right to life and death over projects developed by the ten studios owned by the publisher. Surveys published by Release and have updated the toxic and sexist climate prevailing at “the Editorial», And the assaults committed by some of its members against the group’s employees. One of the figures of the service, the Franco-American Tommy François,.

“According to what the alerts tell us, Serge Hascoët would not have committed sexual assault, a source told HQ HR at Release. «But he’s the one who made this toxic culture possible.Several of these alerts claim that the creative director growled like a dog in front of certain employees, a behavior copied by his subordinates whom he protected in return. Investigations also revealed that the creative director was recording personal expenses, a practice known and denounced by the accounting department.

Many thought that Serge Hascoët was indecisive. However, the creative director left Ubisoft this Saturday “with immediate effect“. He will be replaced on an interim basis by the CEO. “During this period, Yves Guillemot will personally oversee a complete overhaul of the way the creative teams work together.“, Indicates the editor in its press release. A reshuffle of the editorial team had already been announced last week. A restructuring of human resources is also mentioned in the press release.

About twenty other investigations

These announcements come as Ubisoft is in an important communication sequence. Sunday evening will be webcast its annual conference. This high mass for players but also shareholders allows the publisher to unveil its next video games. The conference will be followed by the publication of first opinions from the specialized press and influencers on the titles Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion, scheduled for the second half of 2020.

According to Release, around twenty other Ubisoft employees are said to be under investigation by external law firms. These inquiries could lead to their dismissal. Maxime Beland, editorial vice-president at Ubisoft Toronto, resigned last week.

These scandals have so far not had a negative impact on Ubisoft’s share price. The action gained 10% in one month to 77.50 euros, its highest level in a year.

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