IGN editor-in-chief Steve Butts has been fired for alleged misconduct, following a major investigation from the company.
IGN general manager Mitch Galbraith released a statement to Kotaku, in which they confirmed Butts’ departure from the huge gaming media outlet. “IGN initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct involving Steve Butts,” Galbraith said. “As a result of the investigation, the Company has appropriately determined to part ways with Mr. Butts.”
According to Kotaku, Butts has been working from home since the investigation started, with him having not appeared in the IGN offices since November. Butts’ name was tied to IGN’s misconduct allegations after former IGN employee Kallie Plagge accused former co-worker Vince Ingenito of sexual harassment. Meetings were subsequently held in order to address these allegations, and Butts’ name was reportedly brought up.
Plagge told Kotaku that Butts had told her to stop being “so uptight” regarding her complaints and that he made those who spoke out about misconduct in the company feel like they “were causing him a lot of problems.”
There’s no word yet on who will replace Butts in his role, but this is a big move from the company and an encouraging stance to take following such allegations. Since the allegations surfaced, IGN employees have been taking to social media to discuss improving the site, along with holding internal meetings.
In November, the company published a statement addressing the allegations. “When the women made management and human resources aware of the situation involving a now-former employee, those women, in the estimation of the IGN team, did not get the respect and care that they deserved as IGN employees and as people,” the statement read. “That system, plainly put, failed them. It especially failed them but it also failed all of us.”
Butts hasn’t posted on Twitter since the allegations surfaced in November.
Update: Peer Schneider has informed Polygon that he will serve as interim editor-in-chief for “however long it takes.”
“It’ll be however long it takes to get it right,” Schneider said. “I’m lucky to have a team of seasoned editorial and video leaders I can rely on while I search for the best person for the job.”