“The outcomes of the management audit…makes it difficult for him to continue in this position.”
Ubisoft has actually apparently eliminated another member of its senior management group – this time Hugues Ricour, the handling director of the publisher’s Singapore studio, which is presently dealing with Skull & Bones – following the outcome of a “management audit”.
Ricour was among those singled out over the summer season when several Ubisoft staff members stepped forward with accusations of major sexual misbehavior targeted at senior members of personnel. In reports by Gamasutra and Kotaku, sources accused Ricour of bullying, demeaning comments, retaliatory action, and sexual harassment – he’s said to have made suggestive comments about female staff members’ clothing, and encouraged staff to kiss him at work events.
In a new email to Ubisoft staff seen by Kotaku, the publisher has now confirmed Ricour’s removal from his current position, writing, “Effective immediately, Hugues Ricour is no longer Managing Director of Ubisoft Singapore. The results of the leadership audit that was conducted in the last few weeks by our external partners makes it impossible for him to continue in this position.” It’s unclear if Ricour remains with the company, however.
Ubisoft announced it would investigate all accusations made by employees – and audit its existing policies, processes, and systems – with assistance from specialist external consultants back in July, saying it was “fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action.”
Since then, the company has seen a number of high-profile resignations, departures, and suspensions involving senior management, including Splinter Cell and Far Cry creative director Maxime Béland, vice president Tommy Francois, and marketer Andrien Gbinigie. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail also stepped down after allegations surrounding his personal life were posted on Twitter.
In an update on its “cultural transformation” shared last month, the publisher stated it had “put in place the actions and resources necessary to address these issues”, including compulsory anti-sexism and anti-harassment training, the recruitment of a brand-new VP of Global Diversity & Inclusion, and the facility of a Content Review Committee “to make sure that the Group’s material and item marketing is lined up with Ubisoft’s worths of regard and fairness”.