Ubisoft Executive Steps Down Following Abuse And Assault Allegations
Ubisoft executive Maxime Beland has resigned from his position on the company’s editorial team following accusations of assault and sexual harassment. Beland had previously been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation, and the investigation is continuing despite his departure.
Ubisoft confirmed Beland’s resignation in a statement to GameSpot, adding that VP of editorial and creative services Tommy François has been placed on disciplinary leave as a second investigation is conducted and one employee from Ubisoft Toronto had been fired outright.
Watch Dogs product and brand marketer Andrien Gbinigie, who was accused of sexual assault in June, worked out of the Ubisoft Toronto location. However, Ubisoft did not confirm if he was the employee in question.
“Ubisoft will not tolerate workplace misconduct and will continue taking disciplinary actions against anyone who engages in harassment, discrimination, and other behaviors that infringe on our Code of Fair Conduct,” the company added.
Beland had returned to Ubisoft in early 2020 after briefly moving to Epic Games. Prior to this, he served as a creative director at Ubisoft Toronto. His projects included Splinter Cell Conviction and Splinter Cell Blacklist, as well as support work on the Far Cry series.
CEO Yves Guillemot announced this week that the company would be undergoing a structural shift in order to change its company culture, including the appointment of a new head of workplace culture along with the use of an external consulting firm to review its procedures.
The news is the latest in a growing list of departures stemming from allegations of sexual abuse in the game industry. Evo Online, a fighting game tournament already acting as a replacement for the canceled Evo 2020, was scrapped this week following the firing of president Joey Cuellar for alleged abuse of underage boys.
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