Following allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and mistreatment at Ubisoft that began several months ago, the company’s CEO Yves Guillemot has provided a video statement addressing these issues. This comes just before its second Ubisoft Forward presentation.
“This summer, we learned that certain employees did not uphold our company’s values and that our systems failed to protect the victims of their behavior,” Guillemot said in the video. “I am truly sorry to everyone that was hurt. We have taken significant steps to remove or sanction all those who violated our values and code of conduct, and we are working now to improve our systems and processes.”
Guillemot added that Ubisoft is working to make the company a more diverse and inclusive place to work, including an additional $1 million investment in its graduate program over the next five years. It will also debut a new version of its Womxn Develop at Ubisoft mentorship, launching on September 14 in three cities.
In addition to addressing the allegations, which led to the removal or resignation of several high-profile employees, Guillemot also apologized for content in the mobile game Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad that painted a group similar to Black Lives Matter as agitators looking to control citizens. Ubisoft is making a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, as well.
“This kind of oversight cannot happen,” he said. “We are putting in place safeguards to prevent it in the future.”
The studio head for Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad developer Owlient is Charlie Guillemot. He is Yves Guillemot’s son.
Ubisoft was criticized for not releasing a video statement prior to its first Ubisoft Forward in July. Thought his video was released separately from its upcoming Ubisoft Forward event, it will be included in VOD versions of it afterward. Guillemot also seemed to brush off questions about it in a recent meeting. One of the most powerful executives fired for alleged harassment was Tommy Francois, whose power was such that he could essentially greenlight or kill projects at will.