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February 26, 2021
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Ubisoft exec Beland resigns after harassment and assault allegations

Ubisoft exec Beland resigns after harassment and assault allegations

July 3, 2020 | By Chris Kerr

Ubisoft vice president of editorial Maxime Beland has resigned from his role after being accused of sexual harassment and assault.

The company also revealed that Beland's fellow editorial vice president, Tommy Francois, has been placed on disciplinary leave pending the outcome of an investigation -- although it's worth noting that Francois had reportedly already been suspended

Meanwhile, another unnamed individual from Ubisoft Toronto has been fired for "engaging in behaviours that do not align with what is expected of Ubisoft employees."

Beland's departure, described as a "resignation," follows a stream of allegations posted on social media accusing the Ubisoft exec of choking a female employee at a Far Cry party and several forms of sexual harassment. Ubisoft was reportedly aware of those allegations but chose not to act. 

Earlier this week, we spoke to multiple Ubisoft employees who told us how the company has enabled a culture of abuse and control that has allowed sexual harassment, abuse, racism, and homophobia to take root and flourish.

Ubisoft chief exec Yves Guillemot has since outlined a number of changes the company intends to make in a letter titled 'Change starts today,' including a shake-up of the editorial department, previously overseen by Beland and Francois, and the appointment of a Head of Diversity and Inclusion.

You can find the company's latest statement, sent to Gamasutra by Ubisoft's senior director of corporate communications Michael Burk, posted below.

Hi – I’m providing an update following the internal letter sent by Yves Guillemot yesterday, which outlined a series of initiatives aimed at improving the way in which Ubisoft operates.

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.

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