Ubisoft is continuing various efforts to remove toxicity from its workplace amid a wave of sexual and toxic abuse and harassment allegations throughout the company. In its latest move, former Vice President of Editorial & Creative Services Tommy Francois has been removed from the company after a month of administrative leave following sexual harassment accusations.
Tommy Francois formally exited Ubisoft on July 31, 2020, as noted in a company-wide email from CEO Yves Guillemot reported by Business Insider. Following a month of administrative leave amid the original allegations against Francois, his exit from the company would be effective immediately, as per the email. Though Ubisoft allegedly confirmed to Business Insider that the details of the email were indeed correct and Francois was indeed out of the company, it did not go into details as to the reason why, whether internal investigations proved earlier allegations, or if the exit was prompted by said investigations. Ubisoft had promised to launch these investigations back in June when a wave of gaming industry employees coming out about sexual and toxic harassment and abuse in the industry brought about several accusations of misconduct by Ubisoft executive staff.
Francois’s exit from Ubisoft follows several other high profile resignations and removals at the company, including former Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Creative Director Ashraf Ismail and former Chief Creative Officer Serge Hascoët. Hascoët, in particular, was noted to have pushed a highly toxic “women don’t sell” stance that heavily affected games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and was also extremely critical of certain genres, stifling and eventually shuttering a King Arthur RPG from Dragon Age: Origins Designer Mike Laidlaw.
With Francois’ exit from Ubisoft, it seems another of the company’s longtime executives is out. With so much rot so high up and many critical of Yves Guillemot himself for that fact, it remains to be seen if this will be the last of Ubisoft’s major actions in this regard.