Ubisoft fired one of its most influential executives. The termination follows an investigation into sexual harassment allegations.
In an email to Business Insider, Ubisoft confirmed that Tommy Francois had left the company. He is the latest in a series of Ubisoft senior employees to step down. He is also among the Ubisoft executives accused of inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment.
François allegedly comments on female colleagues' looks. He is also accused of massaging co-employees and pressuring women into sex in front of co-employees. There were also allegations of him kissing co-workers on the lips. Also, he is said to attempt to touch female colleagues frequently.
François was the vice president of editorial and creative services. He is the right-hand man of chief creative officer Serge Hascoet. Also, Francois is one of the most senior creative minds at Ubisoft. He was instrumental in the success of some of Ubisoft's biggest franchises. Among these franchises are Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Watch Dogs.
Reports said that Francois left the company with no financial settlement. However, he can keep his share.
Sweeping changes across Ubisoft
In July, CEO Yves Guillemot announced that change would be coming to Unisoft. The changes are related to the company's environment and work culture. The announcement came after the company went under scrutiny amid allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct.
Following the announcement, Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët resigned. So did the managing director of Ubisoft Canada Yannis Mallat and the global head of HR Cécile Cornet.
In its July 12 statement, the company said that the departure of these executives is part of its comprehensive workplace culture improvement. CEO and Co-Founder Yves Guillemot took over Hascoët's role in the interim.
Yannis Mallat stepped down as well. The Ubisoft statement said that recent allegations against Mallat made it impossible for him to continue as Managing Director of the company's Canadian studios. Meanwhile, Ubisoft said Cécile Cornet stepped down from her role as she believes it is in the best interest of Ubisoft's unity.
Among the changes announced in early July was the appointment of Lidwine Sauer as Head of Workplace Culture. Lidwine Sauer was Projects Director in Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab. The company likewise created a Head of Diversity and Inclusion position who will report directly to Guillemot.
Ubisoft will also bring in an external consulting firm to audit the company's procedures and policies. Also, the company launched a global employee survey to encourage candid feedback.
Another company initiative was the setting up of an online confidential alert platform. It will enable employees and external individuals to report inappropriate behaviors, including harassment and discrimination. A third-party company administers the platform. A committee of CSR and legal experts then reviews the complaints.