Bungie's HR head leaves post after toxic workplace allegations

Senior manager says she herself was victim of abuse from a company executive

Bungie's HR head leaves post after toxic workplace allegations

The head of HR of video game company Bungie Inc has announced she is leaving her post, following a report from IGN regarding the firm's alleged toxic workplace culture.

Gayle d'Hondt, in an email seen by IGN, revealed that even she was a victim of abuse from an executive, which she said she had to report herself and resulted in the executive getting fired from the company, which is headquartered in Washington state, US. She also reflected on the "deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts" that she had to deal with, including terminating staff for discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment.

According to IGN, d'Hondt said she is stepping down from her role as senior employee relations manager but will remain coordinated with Bungie's leadership team regarding the next steps.

"I am proud of the work I did at this company. I believe I made recommendations that were in the best interest of our people and in service of the company we wish to become," her email said as quoted by IGN.

"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."

Read more: Toxic workplaces: Three warning signs for HR

Her decision came after IGN's previous report on the workplace culture in Bungie, where several former and current staff alleged that the HR protected abusers, as well as incidents of microaggressions, systemic inequalities, and sexism.

Pete Parsons, Bungie chief executive officer, published a statement addressing the allegations, where he apologised to the victims and said those who "warranted removal from the company" have been terminated regardless of tenure, seniority, or interpersonal relationships.

"First, I want to apologise to anyone who has ever experienced anything less than a safe, fair, and professional working environment at Bungie," Parsons said. 

"Our actions or, in some cases, inactions, caused these people pain. I apologise personally and on behalf of everyone at Bungie who I know feels a deep sense of empathy and sadness reading through these accounts."

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