Owlient co-heads Charlie Guillemot, and Rémi Pellerin have both stepped down from their positions. The move was revealed by Axios, which claimed it was announced internally almost two weeks ago.
A Ubisoft spokesperson told GameIndustry.biz:
"We can confirm that Rémi Pellerin and Charlie Guillemot have stepped down from their roles at Owlient to pursue new opportunities. We wish them all the best for their future endeavors."
Significant issues caused the departures at Ubisoft
Owlient has been co-headed by Guillemot and Pellerin since 2014. Owlient, a provider of free-to-play browser and mobile games, was acquired by Ubisoft in 2011. Tom Clancy's Elite Squad was criticized last summer when Ubisoft used a Black Power symbol to represent an in-game terrorist group. At the height of the BLM protests, Ubisoft eventually removed the logo and apologized for the profoundly troubling imagery.
It was revealed last summer that Ubisoft's HR department protected executives who regularly harassed and bullied female co-workers. An internal investigation, a reworking of the company's code of conduct, and several high-profile departures followed the scandal. This is a common situation in several industries, but it is an environment that has never had a place in the workforce and needs to be addressed immediately.
While Ubisoft has made numerous changes, including executive appointments, a hotline for anonymous reports, and anti-sexism training, current employees have the same concerns. Ubisoft employees have expressed "nothing has changed" according to a French publication. Apparently, executives who misbehave are still misbehaving, but Ubisoft's highest levels protect them, while employees who report toxic behavior are continually pushed down.
Charlie Guillemot is the son of Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft, and he was appointed Owlient co-head soon after graduating from graduate school. Guillemot's departure follows his father's open letter about Ubisoft's attempts to rectify a toxic work environment. Although this letter may say otherwise, those within beg to differ.