Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot Takes Pay Cut Over Poor Performance


An aging man with thin, gray hair is standing happily against a dark backdrop.

Photo: Christian Petersen (Getty Images)

The latest Ubisoft earnings reports shared that longtime chief executive Yves Guillemot will voluntarily take a sizable pay cut totaling €310,607 (around $327,000 USD).

These details were first spotted by Axios in fine print throughout the June 14 report among paragraphs of corporate jargon.

“This is a personal decision by Yves Guillemot, which he took considering that the company had not reached the financial targets that it had publicly communicated to the markets,” a Ubisoft spokesperson told Axios.

The cash Guillemot waived constitutes his “annual variable compensation,” or a bonus percentage of his regular salary that fluctuates according to performance conditions like sales and quality of life at Ubisoft. Guillemot was entitled to 53.1% of this “fixed compensation” for fiscal year 2021 but will instead take home only €624,824 (or around $657,000 USD). Here’s hoping he can survive on that pittance.

While the Ubisoft exec’s decision echoes a strategy Satoru Iwata employed twice during his time as Nintendo’s president, Guillemot isn’t held in the same high esteem. His high-ranking position rightfully placed him at the center of Ubisoft’s sexual misconduct scandal, which came to light in 2020 at the height of the video game industry’s own #MeToo movement. The controversy focused on widespread abuse against female employees at all levels of the company and resulted in several resignations.

“Women now represent 25% of our total workforce, and represented one-third of total recruitment in the past 12 months,” Guillemot boasted in the report’s intro, without actually addressing why these workforce demographic shifts were necessary in the first place. “Furthermore, we have a strong representation of women at leadership levels with respectively 42% and 45% for the Executive Committee and the Board. We have ambitious plans to continue building a more diverse and inclusive organization.”

As noted by Axios, Ubisoft’s financial outlook also remains shaky despite the ongoing critical and commercial success of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The company’s operating profit dropped by 14%, sales decreased by 5%, and Ubisoft stock lost half its value during the fiscal year that ended on March 31.

 

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