Bungie's head of Human Resources, Gayle d'Hondt, has stepped down from her role at the company following a damning report by IGN that revealed workplace misconduct including toxicity and sexism at the studio, with accusations that HR had covered up and for those accused, and failed to protect employees stepping forward.
The HR department at Bungie has also allegedly covered up malpractice at the company, with one staff member stating that "HR has never been there to protect employees. They've always been there to protect the company. I've watched it happen a few times at Bungie, where someone went to HR and things went completely sideways for them."
According to a new email obtained by IGN, d'Hondt has resigned from her position, stating that she felt that Bungie needed "fresh blood" to lead the HR team to be seen as trustworthy. "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 harbor", she said.
In September of this year, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons had released a statement that Bungie was committed to "fostering a safe, welcoming environment for everyone" and that it was "making conscious and constant improvements through listening, self-awareness, improving our workplace and our systems, and by acting on behalf of our people." The statement appeared to have been prompted by the still-ongoing, but unrelated, issues of misconduct at Activision Blizzard.
In a new statement, Parsons stated that he wanted "to apologize to anyone who has ever experienced anything less than a safe, fair, and professional working environment at Bungie," adding that he was "not here to refute or to challenge the experiences we're seeing shared today by people who have graced our studio with their time and talent. Our actions or, in some cases, inactions, caused these people pain. I apologize personally and on behalf of everyone at Bungie who I know feels a deep sense of empathy and sadness reading through these accounts."
"As CEO, it is my job to factor both the past and the future and be accountable for all of it, here and now. Speaking with the team at Bungie, reading the stories, and seeing both known and newly surfaced accounts, it is clear we still have work ahead of us."