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Ubisoft Montreal replaces studio head Yannis Mallat after misconduct allegations

Ubisoft appointed long-time executive Christophe Derennes to replace Yannis Mallat as the head of the company’s Montreal studio after allegations of misconduct. Derennes was previously the executive vice president of production at Ubisoft Montreal.

“Derennes has immense expertise in production management in his 25 years with Ubisoft and has been a source of daily support for development teams in the creation of our games and helped make them into the great successes of which we are all proud,” Ubisoft said in a statement.

In June, several stories of misconduct, abuse, and sexual harassment surfaced and were shared widely on social media, causing a “structural shift” in the company. Ubisoft Montreal is responsible for several blockbuster Ubisoft titles, including games in the Far Cry, Prince of Persia, and Assassin’s Creed franchises.

Derennes, in an email correspondence obtained by Jeux.ca, said that he will try and put things in place to ensure “greater diversity at all levels of the studio,” and that by the end of the year he wants “greater parity in the management team.”

Christine Burgess-Quemard, the executive director of worldwide production at the company, said that Mallat leaving “is difficult, but necessary given the magnitude of the problems raised in recent weeks at our studios in Montreal and Toronto.”

Burgess-Quemard will oversee Canada’s other Ubisoft studios in Winnipeg, Saguenay, Halifax, Toronto, and Quebec. There have been big changes in the company’s editorial and executive teams lately, with Ubisoft Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoet, HR executive Cecile Cornet, and Mallat all departing.

Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot took over as interim CCO to “personally oversee a complete overhaul of the way in which the creative teams collaborate,” Ubisoft said.

Last month, Ubisoft hired outside consultants to investigate the sexual harassment and abuse claims within the company, following the revelation that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail stepped down “to properly deal with the personal issues in my life.”

“Concerning recent allegations raised against certain Ubisoft team members: We want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this — we are truly sorry,” Ubisoft said in a statement. “We are dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment for our teams, players, and communities. It is clear we have fallen short of this in the past. We must do better.”

Digital Trends reached out to Ubisoft Montreal about the change but did not immediately hear back. This story will be updated when we do.

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