Why Won’t Ubisoft Fire Its Latest Sexual Harrasser? (Outsider’s Outlook)

Last week, Kotaku shared an internal Ubisoft email that Hugues Ricour, the Managing Director of Ubisoft’s Singapore studio Skull and Bones, has been removed from his position.

“Effective immediately, Hugues Ricour is no longer Managing Director of Ubisoft Singapore,” reads the email from Ubisoft chief studios operating officer, Virginie Haas, who took over that position in August amid the company’s ongoing MeToo reckoning. “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.”

Good riddance, I thought–sexual harrassers are not to be tolerated, least of all in leadership positions–but then, earlier today, I found out Ricour hasn’t been removed from the company; rather, he’s been swooped away unto CEO Yves Guillemot’s sex offender showcase, somewhere deep beneath the mountain of gold Ubisoft has made after the launch of AC: Valhalla (dubbed the biggest ever for the series).

The immediate question is the one in the title: Why won’t Ubisoft fire Ricour, the latest in a string of sexual harrassers in leadership roles at the company? These are men who have been given the opportunity to step aside or have been removed from positions of power without losing their jobs. If it is “impossible” for Ricour to continue on in this position, I imagine it’s for reasons that won’t magically make of him an angel, once he moves desks or even roles.

We don’t know the full story–just what’s inside this internal Ubisoft audit is a mystery to anyone outside the highest echelons of the French-owned company. Perhaps there’s a perfectly acceptable reason why it’s impossible for Ricour to continue on in his position but not impossible for him to work in a new one at the same company–I cannot exclude that possibility. But I struggle to find tolerance for someone who misused his power the way so many Ubisoft executives have done.

What’s up with that, Ubisoft?

What’s up with that?

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