It’s been a tumultuous past couple of weeks at Paradox Interactive. CEO Ebba Ljungerud stepped down from her position over a difference in opinion with the board over future business strategy, and a leaked employee survey conducted by two Swedish labour unions revealed widespread worker mistreatment at the company, particularly among women. Now, returning CEO Fredrik Wester has admitted to acting inappropriately during a 2018 company meeting, apparently to address rumours about the incident that have recently arisen.
“In the name of transparency and clarity, I would like to shed light on this,” Wester wrote at the beginning of a thread he posted today on Twitter. “Accountability starts from the top.” Wester did not provide specifics, but said that during a company-wide conference in 2018, he subjected an employee to “inappropriate behaviour”.
“This was something I immediately and sincerely apologised for in person the following Monday in a process that was reviewed by [Paradox’s human resources department],” Wester wrote. “It has never been my intention to make anyone uncomfortable around me, but that is still what happened, much to my regret.”
Wester says he has been working with a coach and mentor to better understand his behaviour and how it impacts other people. This incident, he says, is unrelated to to his resignation as CEO shortly after the incident, a move Wester says had been planned for six months at the time it occurred.
Bbeginning of 2018,we held a company-wide conference, and during this gathering,a Paradox employee was subject to inappropriate behavior from me personally.This was something I immediately and sincerely apologized for in person the following Monday in a process reviewed by HR.
— Fredrik Wester (@TheWesterFront) September 13, 2021
Wester hasn’t explained what this incident was, and a Paradox representative told Eurogamer that it could not comment further “out of respect for the privacy of the person involved”.
Whatever happened, Wester says he recognises that it “makes my cause less credible when it comes to handling these issues internally,” and he is therefore removing himself from the review process in place at the company for when similar such incidents arise.
“I sincerely regret making a person in my proximity uncomfortable and for the damage this caused,” Wester says. “I will continue to work to not only improve myself but also improve the work environment around both Paradox and the industry as a whole.”