Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has made a statement in response to the open letter now signed by about 1,000 Ubisoft employees, both current and former. The signatories expressed their support for their fellow devs at Activision Blizzard and criticized how Ubisoft handled its own workplace culture abuses.
In the letter, Ubisoft devs are calling for the removal of all known offenders from the company “along with those who were complicit in or willfully ignorant of the actions of others.” The signatories also demand “real, fundamental changes, within Ubisoft, within ActivisionBlizzard, and across the industry.”
“To this end, we propose that ActivisionBlizzard, Ubisoft and other industry-leading publishers and developers collaborate and agree to a set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offences. This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives.”
Guillemot’s email, obtained by Axios’ Stephen Totilo, reiterates commitment to “building a better Ubisoft,” but fails to address the specific demands made by the employees. No departures from the company have been announced. Instead, Guillemot cites 300 listening sessions, company-wide survey and global audit.
Below is the letter in its entirety:
As many of you know, an open letter signed by current and former Ubisoft team members was published yesterday. For those of you who didn’t see it you can find the article here along with our external statement. This letter expressed strong support for the developers at Activision Blizzard and advocated for large-scale change within our industry. It also raised concerns about Ubisoft and our culture. We reviewed this letter as a leadership team, and we take the issues it raises seriously. For this reason, I want to personally reiterate our commitment to creating real and lasting change at Ubisoft.
We have made important progress over the past year. Since last summer we have implemented new anonymous reporting tools, revamped 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 are bringing in new leadership across major studios, HR, D&I, Editorial and Production. These are important steps forward, but this is a long process, and there is still more work to be done.
Yesterday’s letter expresses concern from employees who want to make Ubisoft a better place. We have heard clearly from this letter that not everyone is confident in the processes that have been put in place to manage misconduct reports. This is a top priority for Anika [Anika Grant, Chief People Officer at Ubisoft], who continues to ensure they are robust and independent. In addition to our current processes, we are currently recruiting a new VP Global Employee Relations.
I have always valued free expression at Ubisoft, and I strongly believe this is key for us. This is why last year we launched more than 300 listening sessions with 1500+ team members as well as the company-wide survey and global audit. The feedback from these initiatives has been invaluable in driving our plan forward, and we will offer new sessions for you all to share additional thoughts and feedback 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 Employee Resource Group (ERG) network, by creating more visibility, and leadership support to keep bringing new ideas and initiatives to the table.
You can expect another update in Q3, including next steps on the Values Project, D&I and our HR roadmap. I encourage you to keep sharing your feedback and experiences; you can get in touch with me personally, speak with your management or share comments on Mana. Myself and the entire leadership team is committed to building a better Ubisoft for all of us.