Ubisoft Hires New Chief People Officer After Reports Of Abuse And Sexism

The publisher has hired a former Dyson and Uber executive to lead its HR teams and help create a culture at Ubisoft of "respect, diversity, inclusion, and collective wellbeing."

Ubisoft has hired Anika Grant to become its new Chief People Officer in a role where she will oversee the publisher's efforts toward ensuring the company's workplaces are "anchored in safety, respect, and wellbeing." The hiring of Grant comes after Ubisoft was called out for having a "frat house" culture of sexism and abuse.

Grant will also join Ubisoft's executive committee, and she starts today, April 8. Grant, who is an Australian citizen, was formerly the global HR director at Dyson. Before that, she was a senior director of HR at Uber, and before that, she held a high-level HR position at Accenture.

Grant will report directly to Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot. In a press release, Ubisoft said Grant will also manage Ubisoft's "global recruiting, talent management, leadership development, and compensation and benefits, and will contribute to improving the company's organizational performance."

Guillemot said in a statement that he's looking forward to working with Grant to create a culture at Ubisoft of "respect, diversity, inclusion, and collective wellbeing."

"Working alongside me, Anika's mission will consist of aligning all our HR teams with a strong, shared vision, building a robust talent pipeline, and implementing innovative and new ways of working," he said. "Anika will also be focusing her leadership efforts on strengthening our global corporate culture, ensuring that all our teams can thrive in an environment that promotes a culture of respect, diversity, inclusion and collective wellbeing."

As for Grant, she said she's excited to get to work at Ubisoft to help make the company "an employer of choice, one that offers its team members exciting challenges, a welcoming and open environment, and the freedom to express their creativity every day."

In 2020, Ubisoft disclosed that roughly 25% of employees who participated in a survey experienced or witnessed some form of workplace misconduct over the last two years. Minority groups were disproportionately affected; women experienced harassment 30% more than men, and non-binary employees experienced it 43% more than men. Only 66% of respondents who reported an incident said they felt they received support from management.

Reports of Ubisoft's culture issues have been developing as more employees speak out. Guillemot had previously promised a structural shift at the company, including the bonuses for managers. Guillemot has been generally apologetic in his public comments but has also said he was largely unaware of the workplace problems.

Multiple senior executives at Ubisoft stepped down in the wake of the allegations.

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