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Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester admits to subjecting employee to "inappropriate behavior"

"Everyone should have the right to be comfortable and safe, especially around a person in a position of power such as myself."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 13, 2021

2 Min Read

Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester has publicly apologized for behaving inappropriately towards another employee in 2018.

The newly-appointed CEO, who stepped into the role for a second time following the resignation of Ebba Ljungerud earlier this month, said they wanted to be upfront about the incident "in the name of transparency and clarity."

Wester's admission comes shortly after a leaked union survey indicated there was a culture of "offensive treatment" at the Swedish publisher, with one union suggesting that "offensive treatment is a systematic and far too common problem at Paradox."

"In the wake of the recently leaked survey to the press, there have been rumours and discussions about my role in this environment, citing a specific incident in 2018. In the name of transparency and clarity, I would like to shed light on this. Accountability starts from the top," said Wester on Twitter.

"[At the] beginning 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.

"Everyone should have the right to be comfortable and safe, especially around a person in a position of power such as myself, something I stated then and I am stating again now."

The chief exec said that it was never his intention to make anyone uncomfortable, and that he has since worked with a coach and mentor to "understand the impact of my behaviour and to better myself."

He also dismissed the notion that the incident informed his decision to resign as CEO back in 2018, but conceded it does make his position "less credible" when its comes to rooting out misconduct moving forward.

"I understand that this makes my cause less credible when it comes to handling these issues internally and will therefore not be involved directly with it, it will be done by HR at Paradox with external help, but of course with my full support if needed," added Wester.

"Again, I sincerely regret making a person in my proximity uncomfortable and for the damage this caused. 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."

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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