Games publishing giant Ubisoft has announced the surprise departure of Jade Raymond, the founder of its Toronto arm and the producer of hit series Assassin's Creed.

From her first graduate position as a programmer at Sony, working as part of the team that would become Sony Online's first research and development group, Raymond became known for production skills first on The Sims Online for Electronic Arts and then Assassin's Creed at Ubisoft Montreal. The success of the latter franchise propelled Raymond into the limelight: a producer position on the original game became executive producer on its sequel, followed by the same position for Ubisoft Montreal's 'New Projects' arm responsible for, among other titles, hack-'em-up Watch Dogs. In 2010, Raymond was promoted to managing director of the newly-formed Ubisoft Toronto studio where she produced Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

That impressive rise through Ubisoft's ranks has come to an end, however, with the company announcing late last night that the two are parting ways. Raymond, the company explained in a press release, is to be replaced as managing director of Ubisoft Toronto by Alexandre Parizeau, effective immediately. No reason for her departure was given.

'I've spent 10 extraordinary years at Ubisoft, and I am proud to have been part of many of the best teams in the industry making truly remarkable games,' Raymond said in a prepared statement. 'This is one of the hardest decisions of my career, but the Toronto studio is strong and on a solid path. I’m confident that now is a good time for me to transition leadership of the studio to Alex and to pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities. Stay tuned for more on what’s next for me, but for now, I'd like to thank Ubisoft for its partnership through the years, and I wish them the very best in all their next endeavours.'

'On behalf of Ubisoft, I’d like to thank Jade for her leadership and many contributions over the years, and wish her all the best in her next adventures,' said Yannis Mallat, chief executive of Ubisoft's Montreal and Toronto studios. 'The Toronto studio is a key part of the Ubisoft global network, and Alex has been at the heart of the studio’s growth over the years. He was the obvious choice to lead this talented group of people as they continue to develop amazing games.'

Parizeau brings with him 15 years of experience in the games industry, having worked as producer or senior producer on Rainbow Six: Vegas, Tom Clany's Splinter Cell: Conviction and with Raymond on Spliter Cell: Blacklist.
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