Ubisoft CEO Bonus Shifts Away from Gender Diversity Goals


An Ubisoft CEO bonus targeting better gender diversity has been replaced with a goal for reducing the company’s carbon footprint, although the company is continuing its efforts to get more women into the company.

As with most major corporations, Ubisoft offers performance-based bonuses for its executives. CEO Yves Guillemot is no exception; every year, he’s given a number of specific goals to achieve. Reaching each milestone will award the CEO with a commensurate payout in cash or other incentives, and executive bonuses such as these are often an indicator of a company’s overall goals.

Previously, one of Ubisoft’s targets was to increase the proportion of female employees at the company by a total of 2%. It looks like it’s already made a fair amount of progress on that front thus far; now, it looks as if the company’s board is shifting its focus to reducing its carbon footprint.

Why the Ubisoft CEO Bonus Has Changed

As highlighted in a recent Axios newsletter, the change to the Ubisoft CEO bonus has been partly explained in last year’s report from its annual general meeting, indicating that it has already made major strides in increasing gender diversity. Here’s a relevant portion of the document:

On the proposal of the CSR Committee and the CNRG, the Indicator previously relating to the increase in the gender diversity of teams has been replaced by an Indicator of the reduction in UBISOFT’s carbon intensity. For the previous financial year, particularly attentive to the issues of inclusion and diversity within its teams, the Board had set an objective of 24% women in its teams by 2023, with the intention of accelerating the dynamic on this major challenge. This resulted in an increase in the proportion of women in the teams of 1.5 point in FY21 alone. Based on the proposals made by the CSR Committee, the Board has chosen to replace it with an Indicator relating to the environmental impact linked to UBISOFT’s activities, an issue whose criticality has accelerated with the multitude of ecological disasters and the growing attention of public institutions, investors, consumers and teams. This change makes it possible to include an ambitious strategic vision for environmental challenges in the long-term variable compensation of the CEO.

The fine print of the document notes that Ubisoft is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 8.8% over the next several years through a combination of increasing its use of renewable energy, reducing business trips, increasing the share of games sold digitally, and in other ways. This feeds to a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.

The difficulties in getting more women into the company was highlighted in Ubisoft’s Annual Financial Report for 2020, noting that getting more women into the company would be “a real challenge” considering the limited pool of women in the industry and the intense competition to hire them. These bonuses could net Guillemot as much as $200,000 if the goals are met.

At March 31, 2020, the Group comprised 22.0% women. In a context where the pool of women from higher education trained in Ubisoft’s businesses is limited and where competition for talents is very high, every additional point represents a real challenge.

That’s not to say Ubisoft is giving up on getting more women into the company, mind; it’s still targeting a total of 24% women on its teams around the world by 2023. An Ubisoft rep has told Axios that it will consider reintroducing the gender diversity bonus in 2023.

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