Riot Games COO put on unpaid leave over misconduct in the workplace


In that report, one name that repeatedly came up was Scott Gelb, who was repeatedly accused of inappropriate behavior to both male and female employees.

Laurent stated in the email many rumors circulating around Gelb "within the company, in the media and other channels", weren't true. Though, some Riot employees have suggested the action taken isn't severe enough. For these and other actions that made many uncomfortable, Gelb is getting the grave punishment of two months of unpaid leave and training.

Numerous employees maintained that Gelb often touched employees' genitals and rear ends and farted in their faces.

In an internal email first obtained by Kotaku and later published in full by Variety, Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent said the decision to suspend but ultimately retain Gelb was made following a joint investigation by a board-of-directors committee and the law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

Riot said in a statement: "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. It's for these reasons I feel it's necessary to make an exception". Instead he chose "ownership and redemption", which Laurent commended.

The company was sued last month by one current and one former employee, with charges of sexism and discrimination stemming from the company's internal work culture. Speaking with Kotaku, one employee - who has remained anonymous for the sake of their job - said that it showed how the priority for Riot leadership seemed to be, "protecting their terrible friends... more than protecting their vulnerable employees".

The aftershocks of Riot's toxic working culture rumble on with COO Scott Gelb apparently being suspended without pay for two months.

According to Kotaku's report on Gelb's suspension, many Riot employees were unhappy over the short duration of Gelb's suspension and the company's insistence that the accusations against him were untrue.

"Having said that, we made a very rare exception in the case of our COO, Scott Gelb", he continued. "I hope you will join me". "For Riot leadership, protecting their bad friends matters more than protecting their vulnerable employees".

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