Ubisoft has been working as of late to purge itself of the abusive executives and individuals who have, for far too long, been allowed (and empowered) to abuse employees and create a toxic workplace environment. This has included Maxime Béland, the former vice president of editorial, Cécile Cornet, who used to run HR, and most famously Serge Hascoët, the chief creative officer who drugged employees, choked women, and worked to ensure female characters wouldn’t get leading roles in Ubisoft’s games.
Of course, this effort has always been hollow. For one, it’s well-known and documented that Ubisoft spent years protecting these toxic individuals and ignoring complaints levied at them. Secondly, they were all allowed to “resign”, rather than be fired, which means they get to avoid a black mark on the resume. And finally, CEO Yves Guillemot , who almost certainly knew and encouraged this awful behavior, has yet to own up to his own role in this affair.
But while we wait for the king’s head, we’ll have to settle for another executive: Tommy François, Ubisoft's former vice president of editorial & creative services, was terminated by Ubisoft.
While Tommy François’s list of crimes isn’t abnormal when compared to the standards set by his peers, there is one noticeable difference to his case: according to Business Insider, Tommy François wasn’t given the opportunity to resign, or at least, didn’t do so within the appropriate window. Which means that he’s the first person Ubisoft has actually fired as a result of their “internal investigation.”
Cool. But it’s a far-cry from the kind of changes Ubisoft needs to be making if it wants to earn public trust again, or even present a front of holding guilty parties accountable. And I wager that as long as their current CEO stays in charge, Ubisoft will never be funny purged of its bad actors.
But hey, what’s one more awful CEO in an industry full of 'em?