Riot Games Suspends COO Amid Sexual Harassment Investigation
A report from Kotaku started an internal investigation into employee harassment and misconduct. Riot’s COO, Scott Gelb, was accused of touching employee’s genitals and humping claiming it was a joke.
Riot released a statement on the internal investigation:
“As part of our ongoing commitment to evolving our culture, we are thoroughly investigating all claims through our established process. Per this process, outside legal counsel undertook an investigation of allegations about Scott Gelb.
After carefully reviewing and considering the findings, the Special Committee of Riot’s Board of Directors determined that a two-month, unpaid leave of absence, along with training, was the appropriate action given the allegations that were substantiated.
We can also confirm that many of the rumors circulating about Scott within the company, the media, and other channels were actually not true.” – Riot’s official statement on Gelb.
According to a report by Variety, Riot’s CEO Nicolo Laurent claimed that there was an outside investigation which was reviewed by a Riot Special Committee.
“As I have mentioned, we are committed to protecting Rioters’ privacy and the integrity of the investigation process. This means that you will not hear me or any other leader discuss individual cases.
Having said that, we made a very rare exception in the case of our COO, Scott Gelb. There are factors that collectively drive this exception. The Special Committee of the Board of Directors has specifically requested that one of Scott’s consequences be highly visible. Scott holds one of the most senior roles at Riot and is held to a higher level of accountability and visibility, therefore certain consequences are going to be very visible to Rioters. It’s for these reasons I feel it’s necessary to make an exception.” – Nicolo Laurent, CEO of Riot Games.
In a report on Kotaku, several employees claimed that Gelb’s punishment was just a “tiny slap on the wrist.” The community and Riot employees will have to wait to see if anything else comes from the investigation, including more suspensions or possible employment termination.