Bungie head of HR Gayle d’Hondt is stepping down from her role at the company after more than 14 years effective today, IGN has learned.
In an email circulated to employees today which IGN has seen in full, d’Hondt reflected on her time at the company, saying she wants to do “everything in my power to make sure everyone who works here has a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment.” She then cited the need for the company’s people team to “move forward” with membership “largely comprised of people new to Bungie.”
“I know that they need to be trusted to be your advocates – not labeled as ‘enablers’ or seen as company resources who provide bad actors with safe harbor,” she wrote.
D’Hondt is officially stepping out of her official role as senior employee relations manager, but it is not clear whether or not she will remain with the company. In her email, she states that she “will work with Holly [Barbacovi, chief people officer] and the leadership team at Bungie to determine what the appropriate next steps are.”
Also in her message, d’Hondt mentioned that her time at Bungie had included working through “deeply challenging interpersonal conflicts” including termination of employees for “performance, bad behavior, and for discrimination, racism, and sexual harassment.”
She added that this included reporting her own abuser: “a man, an executive, and someone I thought was my friend at Bungie — which resulted in Bungie firing him.”
D’Hondt concluded her email: “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. 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’s announcement comes less than a week after our extensive report on Bungie’s work culture, which spanned a long history of sexism, boys’ club culture, crunch, and HR protection of abusers over more than a decade. It also included details on Bungie’s more recent efforts to turn that culture around, including quietly removing a number of harmful individuals from the company in the last few years.
Bungie did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.