Hugues Ricour, managing director of Ubisoft Singapore which is currently developing Skull and Bones, has been removed from his position. Kotaku reported his removal after obtaining an email from chief studios operating officer Virginie Haas to staff. Haas stated that, “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.”
Though Haas didn’t explicitly state the reason, Ricour’s name came up amidst fresh allegations of abuse at Ubisoft by Gamasutra. Ubisoft Singapore was outed for racist and sexist behavior, along with lack of action by upper management to reported abuse. Ricour in particular had been accused of “multiple sources of sexual harassment” and was known for “bullying, demeaning comments, and retaliatory action against those perceived to have stood up to him.”
Haas stated Matthew Thorpe, Ubisoft Singapore’s director of operations, and Debbie Lee, human resources director, would “ensure a smooth transition in the interim.” There will also apparently be a town hall at the studio to address employees and field questions concerning Ricour.
Interestingly, an update was just provided to Kotaku about Ricour’s current status. A Ubisoft spokersperson stated that, “We can confirm that Hugues Ricour is both stepping down from his role as MD and also leaving the Singapore studio, but will remain at Ubisoft.” No reason was given for his departure.
Ricour is one of many Ubisoft senior employees to be removed following allegations of misconduct and abuse, joining the likes of Serge Hascoët and Ashraf Ismail. As for Skull and Bones, it’s apparently still a long way off from launch and has seen “multiple revisions” as per three sources with knowledge of development. Stay tuned for more details and updates on the studio in the meantime.