In an email sent to employees and made public this week, Riot Games has announced the suspension of COO Scott Gelb following allegations of misconduct, while also stating support for his eventual return.
As part of our ongoing commitment to evolving our culture, we are thoroughly investigating all claims through our established process. Per this process, outside legal counsel undertook an investigation of allegations about Scott Gelb. 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. We can also confirm that many of the rumors circulating about Scott within the company, the media, and other channels were actually not true.
The above comes from a statement made to Variety last week following an investigation and action taken against Scott Gelb by Riot Games, the developer behind the popular MOBA, League of Legends. The studio was formed back in 2006, with League being its first game and a big enough hit to become its primary focus. Maintaining the game and its eSports scene is Riot's bread and butter.
Earlier this year, COO Scott Gelb was accused of misconduct within the office and, following an investigation, it was determined training and a two-month unpaid leave would be a suitable penalty. Based on the report, the main focus of Gelb's behavior revolved around things like making contact with co-workers' butts and crotch, as well as farting "in their faces for comedic effect."
Based on the report, Scott Gelb's accusations were numerous but, according to the investigation, many were found to be without merit or evidence. While nobody is going into detail at the moment, apparently the issues Riot found to be supported were not enough to cost him his job. An email to all Riot employees even ends with a call to support Gelb upon his return to the company as a "great leader." Gelb was also given credit in the email for not simply quitting his job, but instead owning his past and the consequences that come with it.
It's uncommon for a big studio like Riot to be open about these types of investigations or their outcome, but it was explained that the Board of Directors requested the situation involving Gelb to be made highly visible. The statement also notes that Gelb will return to the company in 2019. So, presumably, he is already on leave and, at some point, presumably undergoing training about behavior in the workplace.
Concerning a timeline, the information from Riot states that Gelb's actions they were able to find support for took place during the early days of the company, though nothing more specific was offered. It's noted above that some rumors circulating have been found to be inaccurate but, again, no further information is available concerning which rumors, exactly, were not supported by the investigation.