Yesterday, Ubisoft employees signed an open letter criticizing the company's management for not addressing the widespread allegations of "systemic discrimination, harassment and bullying" in the company that were made public in 2020. The letter , in which solidarity was also expressed with Activision Blizzard workers participating in nearly 500 people signed a strike to protest similar issues in their own company; Anonymous sources say that number is now approaching 1,000.
Ubisoft said in a brief response that it has “a deep respect for the commitment of our teams that are driving change within our industry” and supports efforts to create a safer and more inclusive workplace for all employees. He did not go into details about what has been done, or how he plans to make new changes in the future, but in a deeper message shared with current employees, CEO Yves Guillemot addressed some details.
"We have made significant progress over the past year," Guillemot wrote. "Since last summer we have implemented new anonymous reporting tools, we have renewed our human resources processes, including new global policies to prevent and manage discrimination, retaliation, harassment, we have installed a new code of conduct, we have implemented mandatory training, we have established a content review group and we lead in the new leadership of the main studies, HR, D&I [Diversity and Inclusion], Editorial and Production. , but this is a long process and there is still more work to be done. "
Guillemot cited the more than 300 "listening sessions" that took place in 2020, along with a company-wide survey and a global audit, as "invaluable in driving our plan." promise that there will be new sessions and a new survey. the path. Ubisoft is also in the process of hiring a new global vice president of employee relations and Guillemot promised more visibility and “leadership support” for the company’s Employee Resource Group.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot sent an email to all employees today about yesterday's open letter: "We have heard clearly in this letter that not everyone is confident in the processes that are taking place. have been set up to handle reports of misconduct "pic.twitter.com/P6T22vS5cLJuly 29, 2021
It sounds like an aggressive approach, but Ubisoft has serious problems. Allegations of misconduct and labor abuse in 2020 led to the resignation of several business leaders, including creative director Serge Hascoët and global human resources manager Cécile Cornet, but all resigned instead of being fired. Former Ubisoft Singapore CEO Hugues Ricour was fired in November 2020 following an investigation into misconduct in the studio, but was not fired either: he now serves as intelligence director production at Ubisoft's headquarters in Paris.
The approach of reassigning problematic leaders instead of taking them for granted, along with Guillemot's own refusal to accept any responsibility for Ubisoft's problems, has left some fans and employees unconvinced that the company will change or can change. in its current state. Yesterday's letter made this point very clear: "We have seen nothing more than a year of kind words, empty promises and the inability or unwillingness to eliminate known criminals. We no longer trust your commitment to address these issues at its core ".
Ubisoft is also facing a new lawsuit filed by the Solidaires Informatique union in France, alleging that the company's executives, including Guiilemot, were fostering a culture of "institutional sexual harassment" that allowed abusive behavior to go unchecked.
Guillemot said another update on Ubisoft's future, including advances in its securities project, D&O initiatives and HR's roadmap, will be shared sometime in Ubisoft's third fiscal quarter. will be held from October 1 to December 31.