Ubisoft VP resigns following assault allegations
Maxime Béland, a former creative director and editorial vice president at Ubisoft Toronto, has resigned from his position following assault allegations published on social media. A Kotaku report, published Monday, detailed the allegations against Béland.
Ubisoft confirmed Béland’s resignation in a statement emailed to Polygon:
Maxime Beland, Vice President Editorial, has resigned from his role at Ubisoft, effective immediately. Despite his resignation, we continue to investigate the allegations made against him. Additionally, effective as of yesterday, Tommy François, Vice President Editorial & Creative Services, has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation. One other individual in our Toronto studio has been terminated for engaging in behaviors that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees. Other investigations are ongoing and will be conducted rigorously.
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.
Kotaku spoke with 12 current and former employees about Béland and the culture of Ubisoft, which the sources described as “normaliz[ing] sexism and harassment” and “undervalu[ing] women’s contributions.” It also spoke with the woman who had alleged that Béland “put his hands around her neck and squeezed.” Béland’s wife, Rima Brek, was also reportedly interim head of human resources. Inaction on the part of Ubisoft HR appeared to be an ongoing, structural problem within the company, according to Kotaku’s report.
On July 2, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot published a letter on the company’s website that was sent to employees. In the letter, titled “Change Starts Today,” Guillemot said he would “revise the composition of the Editorial Department, transform our human resource processes, and improve the accountability of all managers on these subjects.” He detailed the steps the company will take to address the culture problems, including appointing a Head of Workplace Culture and investigating all allegations.
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