French video game maker Ubisoft has disclosed over the weekend several departures of personnel following an evaluation in response to accusations of misconduct at the group, which earlier reports revealed centered around charges of sexual wrongdoing.
The staff separation was carried out to enhance culture in the workplace, Ubisoft management said. Ubisoft's chief creative officer, the managing director of the group's Canadian studios, and global human resources director have quit their posts effective immediately, the company stated.
Ubisoft has announced that Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoet has stepped down after allegations that he enabled the wrongdoing by other executives. The group's managing director for Canadian studios, Yannis Mallat, has also resigned after multiple claims of misconduct against staff made it "impossible for him to continue" in the role, Jon Fingas of Engadget reported.
Ubisoft disclosed that its chief creative officer and second-most senior executive Serge Hascoet had quit his post effective immediately, along with Mallat. Chief executive officer Yves Guillemot will take on Hascoet's position on an interim basis.
In a statement, Ubisoft said that Guillemot will personally "oversee a complete overhaul of the way in which the creative teams work," Isobel Asher Hamilton of Business Insider reported.
According to Guillemot, what happened was very "unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised," AFP quoted him as saying.
Ubisoft's global director of Human Resources Cecile Cornet is also quitting from her role but will remain with the group per a statement issued to GameSpot.
Hascoet joined Ubisoft in 1987, the year after Guillemot founded the group with his four brothers. The company had previously described Hascoet as a "creative leader" whose unique vision has infused every game released by the company.
Investigations conducted by France's newspaper Liberation and other media reports have pointed to the alleged sexual misconduct that targeted women staff, and other workplace misdeed and a growing willingness by some people in the industry to come out and speak up against abuses in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Meanwhile, shares of Ubisoft shed 6 percent in pre-market trading in Paris after news of the shakeup and inappropriate behavior, MarketWatch reported. Ubisoft stock has plunged 7 percent over the past four quarters, while STOXX's index of European tech stocks rose 20 percent.
The news of the departures came on the same day the group hosted its virtual event Ubisoft Forward, where it touted its upcoming installment "Assassin's Creed: Valhalla," and disclosed another video game offering in its highly popular "Far Cry" series "Far Cry 6."