Bungie HR Boss Steps Down In Wake Of Toxic Workplace Report
Whether or not d'Hondt will remain at the company in a different position is still unclear.
After more than 14 years of service, Bungie head of HR Gayle d'Hondt has announced she is stepping down from her role at the company. The news comes less than one week after IGN published an extensive report detailing the Destiny 2 developer's work culture--including its long history of discrimination, unethical labor practices, and the HR department's systemic protection of abusers. d'Hondt said that while she is "proud" of the work she did, she is looking forward to seeing the company "move forward" with membership "largely comprised of people new to Bungie."
"I believe I made recommendations that were in the best interest of our people and in service of the company we wish to become," d'Hondt said. "I also believe we made some mistakes, and that to become the better version of ourselves – the company I know we can be – we have to acknowledge and confront them, in good faith, and grow together."
d'Hondt shared the news in an email circulated to employees earlier today (via IGN), writing she is officially stepping down from her role as senior employee relations manager but "will work with Holly [Barbacovi, chief people officer] and the leadership team at Bungie to determine what the appropriate next steps are." Whether or not this means d'Hondt will remain on staff in a different position following her HR departure is still unclear.
In addition to her resignation, d'Hondt also used the letter to share her own experiences with the company, stating that her time at Bungie had included her working through "deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts," such as having to terminate employees for "performance, bad behavior, and for discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment." She then added this included her own abuser, "a man, an executive, and someone I thought was my friend at Bungie" who was ultimately fired.
While who is taking over for d'Hondt has yet to be announced, the former HR head said the team knows "they need to be trusted to be your advocates--not labeled as 'enablers' or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbor," and she is doing "everything in her power to make sure everyone who works here has a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment." Based on the statement shared by Bungie CEO Pete Parsons shortly following the initial report, d'Hondt resignation is seemingly step one in the company's plan to improve working conditions within the company.
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