Ubisoft CEO Issues Response To Employees' Open Letter

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Over 1000 Ubisoft employees voiced their support for the Activision Blizzard walkout, as well as highlighting the French company's lack of improvements made in addressing last year's allegations.

In response to the staff's insistence that "real change" should be made, CEO Yves Guillemot has responded to the open letter.

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Ubisoft CEO Issues Response To Employees' Open Letter

The initial open letter by employees claimed Ubisoft has made "empty promises", and that proper repercussions be asserted for those accused instead of moving them from "studio to studio, team to team, giving them second chance after second chance".

Yves Guillemot issued a letter to all Ubisoft employees, in response to said claims.

In an email obtained by Axios' Stephen Totilo, Guillemot's response begins with implying that employee concerns have been reviewed and taken seriously:

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.

Guillemot refrains from acknowledging the letter's demands directly. Instead, the reply implies that certain changes have been made since last year:

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.

The Ubisoft CEO however, does understand the employees' lack of confidence towards changes conducted and has placed emphasis on hiring new staff to help with these concerns:

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.

Guillemot discussed more about the company's strive towards understanding the improvements that should be made, through audits and listening surveys:

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.

The boss concluded the email by claiming that more updates will be unveiled in Q3, and that distressed staff can contact Guillemot personally:

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.

The full statement can be read here, in addition to Ubisoft's initial comment from yesterday: