Longtime IGN editor-in-chief Steve Butts has been relieved of his position due to “alleged misconduct.” It was reported last fall that IGN had put Butts under investigation—during a few meetings within the site’s editorial team, one of the staff members reported that Butts had harassed her. This allegation in turn launched the investigation, which led to Butt’s termination earlier this week.
Mitch Galbraith, the executive vice president for IGN said in a statement that “IGN initiated an investigation into alleged misconduct involving Steve Butts. As a result of the investigation, the Company has appropriately determined to part ways with Mr. Butts.” This isn’t the first time that IGN has received some less-than-savory comments about how their senior management treats its employees, however.
Back in November, Kallie Plagge, who is currently an editor at Gamespot, stated that a senior staffer (Vince Ingenito) had often targeted her and another female editor with “manipulative and abusive comments.” Plagge stated, “The harassment (and horribly mishandled HR investigation) was a major factor in leaving IGN. I have carried the disgust, fear, and disrespect with me since.” Ingenito was later let go by IGN in March of last year.
Galbraith made a public statement back in November addressing the matter, stating that “it is clear IGN can and must do better delivering on our commitment to a safe and harassment-free work environment for employees.” In the meantime, Peer Schneider will step in as interim editor-in-chief for “however long it takes.”