In the statement, which was shared with GameSpot, Guillemot said Ubisoft wanted to “reiterate our commitment to creating real and lasting change” in the business. He reviewed a list of actions Ubisoft has taken following allegations of sexual harassment and toxic accusations in the workplace last year. This includes overhauling HR processes, installing a new code of conduct, rolling out mandatory training programs and hiring new leaders.
Guillemot also spoke directly to the employee’s letter. He said senior management understands that employees want to improve working conditions at Ubisoft, reiterating that this commitment is a priority for everyone involved.
“Yesterday’s letter expresses the concern of employees who want to make Ubisoft a better place,” said Guillemot. “We have clearly heard in this letter that not everyone is confident in the processes that have been put in place to manage reports of misconduct. It’s a top priority for Anika [Grant, Ubisoft’s Chief People Officer who was hired this past April], which continues to ensure that they are robust and independent. In addition to our current processes, we are currently recruiting a new VP Global Employee Relations. “
The letter, which the Axios journalist Stephane Totilo states has now been signed by nearly 1,000 Ubisoft employees, praised Activision Blizzard workers for staging a huge walkout to protest the misogyny and sexism that facilitate a “frat boy” culture at the latest publisher games. At the same time, Ubisoft employees called their own publisher for giving attackers plenty of second chances.
“It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone – employees, executives, journalists or fans that these heinous acts are happening,” said the group of Ubisoft employees. “It’s time to stop being shocked. We must demand that real action be taken to prevent them. Those responsible must be held accountable for their actions. “
Activision Blizzard is at the center of a recent lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing that accused the company of creating a culture that demeans and exploits women and people of color. Activision Blizzard – and various current and former executives – reacted dizzyingly, which ultimately led to a bunch of excuses.
Full letter from Yves Guillemot:
As many of you know, an open letter signed by current and former members of the Ubisoft team was released yesterday. For those of you who haven’t seen it, you can find the article here with our external statement. This letter expressed strong support for the developers of Activision Blizzard and called for large-scale change within our industry. It also raised concerns about Ubisoft and our culture. We have reviewed this letter as a management team and take the issues it raises seriously. For this reason, I personally want to reiterate our commitment to creating real and lasting change at Ubisoft.
We have made significant progress over the past year. Since last summer, we’ve implemented new anonymous reporting tools, overhauled our HR processes, including new global policies to prevent and manage discrimination, retaliation, harassment, installed a new code of conduct, rolled out mandatory training, established a content review group and new leadership in major studios, HR, D&I, Editorial and Production. These are important steps forward, but it is a long process and there is still work to be done.
Yesterday’s letter expresses the concerns of employees who want to make Ubisoft a better place. We heard clearly in this letter that not everyone has confidence in the processes that have been put in place to manage reports of misconduct. This is a top priority for Anika, who continues to make sure they are tough and independent. In addition to our current processes, we are currently recruiting a new VP Global Employee Relations.
I have always valued freedom of expression at Ubisoft, and I firmly believe that this is the key for us. That’s why last year, we launched over 300 listening sessions with over 1,500 team members as well as the company-wide survey and global audit. The feedback from these initiatives has been invaluable in moving our plan forward, and we will be offering new sessions for all of you to share additional thoughts and comments on these topics. A new company-wide survey (formerly known as Express Yourself) will be launched before the end of the year. We will also continue to empower our network of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), creating more visibility and leadership support to continue bringing new ideas and initiatives to the table.
You can expect another update in Q3, including next steps for the Values project, D&I, and our HR roadmap. I encourage you to continue to share your comments and experiences; you can contact me personally, speak with your management or share feedback on Mana. Myself and the entire management team are committed to building a better Ubisoft for all of us.