Riot Games investigation says there’s ‘no proof’ CEO harassed female employee
Riot Games is closing an investigation into whether or not CEO Nicolo Laurent harassed or discriminated towards former employee Sharon O’Donnell, saying it discovered “no proof” of the declare. “After overview of the outcomes of the investigation,” Riot stated in an announcement, “there isn’t a proof that Nicolo harassed, discriminated, or retaliated towards Ms. O’Donnell. The Particular Committee has additionally expressed its full confidence in Nicolo’s management, that no motion towards him is warranted, and that he’ll proceed to function as CEO.”
The Washington Submit reported the information earlier right this moment, and Riot posted an outline of the investigation’s conclusions in addition to a letter from Laurent. The Submit additionally reviews that Riot requested a courtroom to hurry up authorized proceedings for a swimsuit filed by O’Donnell earlier this yr, trying to maneuver the case to arbitration.
Riot, the studio behind video games like Valorant and League of Legends, opened an investigation into Laurent following O’Donnell’s lawsuit. A former govt assistant, O’Donnell alleged that Laurent made inappropriate sexual remarks and demeaning feedback about her gender. She additionally alleged that she was fired after refusing sexual advances from the CEO.
Now, based mostly on the findings of an out of doors authorized workforce, a particular committee of the board of administrators has concluded these claims have been meritless. “This isn’t a suggestion we take calmly,” the committee stated in an announcement. “Most instances of this nature are usually not black and white; they fall into the gray. Nonetheless, this was not a kind of instances. On this case, we have been merely unable to search out any proof that might justify a sanction of any form towards Laurent.”
The committee members stated they might request the case be reopened if new proof emerged. O’Donnell’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the investigation outcomes.
These claims towards Laurent have been a part of a a lot greater controversy involving Riot’s firm tradition. A number of staff echoed tales about pervasive discrimination and harassment on the studio, main Riot to apologize and promise modifications, together with suspending the corporate’s COO for 2 months. Along with the swimsuit from O’Donnell, Riot is presently pushing to settle a category motion gender discrimination criticism. A report yesterday steered that Alienware had ended a partnership with Riot following the allegations; Riot declined to touch upon the declare at the moment.
In its assertion, the board committee tried to separate Laurent’s investigation from a bigger mission to vary Riot’s tradition. “Whereas our conclusion on this explicit case is that no discrimination, harassment, or retaliation occurred, allow us to be clear that as a committee, we stay absolutely invested in overseeing the Firm’s initiatives to remodel Riot’s tradition,” it stated. “We encourage any employee of Riot who has skilled misconduct to really feel protected reporting it.”
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