Days after IGN’s report highlighting Bungie’s years-long struggle with harassment, abuse, and crunch conditions, Gayle d’Hondt, head of HR, is stepping down.
According to a report from IGN, d’Hondt served at Bungie for 14 years before stepping down from her role as head of HR effective immediately. It is not yet known if she will remain with the company in another role. In an email obtained by IGN, d’Hondt shared her experiences at Bungie, which included “deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts” and reporting her own abuse.
Last week, IGN reported that the culture at the studio was at times at odds with its image of being a progressive video game development company. The report captured incidents of a manager yelling frequently at employees (so much so, employees kept track of his explosions on a whiteboard), toothless diversity and inclusion committees that seemed to actively work against the needs of its members, and numerous incidents of harassment directed at female employees. Also in the report were allegations that the company’s HR department worked to protect bad actors.
“There was at least one long-standing Bungie employee in HR, still with the company, who almost all of our sources described as actively protecting harmful individuals,” Rebekah Valentine of IGN writes. This person is not named, nor is it known if d’Hondt’s stepping down is at all related to IGN’s reporting.
Bungie’s CEO Pete Parsons responded to the report saying he doesn’t refute the incidents described and apologized for the pain and suffering working at Bungie caused current and former employees.
d’Hondt seemed complimentary of her time in HR but spoke of a need for the team to bring in outside people “new to Bungie” in order to regain employees’ trust.