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Bungie HR Head steps down after reports of toxic work culture, sexism and abuse

Bungie Head of HR Gayle d' Hondt has stepped down after a bombshell report detailed troubling issues of sexism, racism, toxicity and harassment embroiling the company.
Bungie HR Head steps down after reports of toxic work culture, sexism and abuse
Bungies Head of HR Gayle d' Hondt has stepped down after a bombshell report by IGN released on 11th December revealed the company's long-standing history grappling with sexism, boys' club culture, crunch and abuse. D' Hondt steps down from her role since first joining the company fourteen years ago in 2007.

Sources indicate that an email was circulated to all Bungie employees, in which d' Hondt detailed efforts by the company to ameliorate the toxic work culture by dismissing various individuals. However, d' Hondt also noted that the company would need an HR team "largely comprised of people new to Bungie" to move forward.

Bungie's Gayle d'Hondt steps down amid reports of abuse and sexism

This followed after she reflected on her time, noting that she will do everything in her power to make sure everyone who works at Bungie has "a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment."

Bungie Head of HR steps down after reports of racism, sexism, crunch and toxic work culture at the company
Bungie Head of HR steps down after reports of racism, sexism, crunch and toxic work culture at the company. (Picture: Bungie)

"I know that they need to be trusted to be your advocates - not labelled as 'enablers' or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbour," d' Hondt said.

The former HR head also noted "deeply challenging personal conflicts," which concerningly included dismissing colleagues for " bad behaviour, and for discrimination, racism and sexual harassment."

D' Hondt said that she also succumbed to the abuse of a male executive colleague, who she was her friend at Bungie. She further noted, however, that the individual was later fired.

It is unknown whether d' Hondt will continue working for Bungie; however, she said she "will work with Holly [Barbacovi, chief people officer] and the leadership team at Bungie to determine what the appropriate next steps are."

Bungie is known for highly acclaimed game titles like Destiny 2
Bungie is known for highly acclaimed game titles like Destiny 2. (Picture: Bungie)

At the end of the email, d' Hondt said that she was "proud of the work" she did at Bungie and believed that the recommendations that were "in the best interest of our people and in service of the company we wish to become."

"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 concluded.

Bungie has not issued a formal response or statement to d' Hondt's announcement at the time of writing.

 

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Featured image courtesy of Bungie.