Maxime Béland has resigned from his position as creative vice president at Ubisoft Toronto following allegations of drunken violence toward female workers and other forms of sexual harassment, which were detailed on social media.
Ubisoft confirmed in a statement to Polygon that Béland, a former creative director, was leaving the company.
“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,” the statement said.
“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,” The statement went on to say.
The allegations, outlined by twitter user @DennyVonDoom, collect statements from some of Beland’s co-workers and acquaintances.
“He choked a female employee at a Far Cry party after he became drunk and enraged,” one statement said. “He kept his job. He was the creative director of the studio and slept with and dated several younger women while he worked there. He left and was welcomed back at a better position and higher pay after all his behavior.”
Béland’s wife, Rima Brek, was reportedly the head of human resources at the company during the instances of assault, and Kotaku is reporting that there’s a systemic streak of inaction against allegations at the company.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot recently posted a letter on the company’s website saying that Ubisoft was going to change the way the company has been dealing with these sorts of issues. The letter is titled “Change Starts Today.”
“We are not looking for a quick fix, but rather a structural shift at Ubisoft that fully aligns with our values – values that do not tolerate toxic behaviors and where everyone feels safe to speak out. We must do everything we can to ensure no one is in these situations ever again. With this in mind, I also am putting in place a series of initiatives that will serve as a road map as we listen, learn, and act,” the letter said.
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