Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson has resigned from his position faster than you can say “pro-life” after his post on social media supporting a controversial anti-abortion law in Texas sparked controversy on the internet. Just two days after Gibson made the comments, Tripwire Interactive’s official Twitter account announced that Gibson would be stepping down, with co-founder Alan Wilson replacing him as CEO.
“The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company,” the statement said, distancing themselves from Gibson’s views. “His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community. Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment.”
A statement regarding recent events.
— Tripwire Interactive (@TripwireInt) September 7, 2021
The controversy began after Gibson publicly supported a Texas bill that would not only ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, but allow private citizens to sue anyone who violates or aids in the violation of the law, effectively allowing citizens to be vigilantes and seek bounties for turning in others. Many figures in the games industry criticized the comment for going against protections of women’s rights, as well as its misinterpretation of the cited Supreme Court ruling.
Reacting to the controversy, both Shipwright Studios and Torn Banner Studios—developers of Maneater and Chivalry II, respectively—condemned and distanced themselves from publisher Tripwire Interactive. Shipwright Studios went one step further, stating that it would begin cancelling all of its contracts with the publisher and noting that it could not “in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure.”
Fortunately, those plans may not have to go through considering Gibson is no longer part of the company’s leadership, though it does seem like he will continue to work there. Additionally, the new interim CEO Alan Wilson will also hold a company town hall to clarify and address concerns about the company’s leadership. The official announcement reads, in part:
Effective immediately, John Gibson has stepped down as CEO of Tripwire Interactive. Co-founding member and current Vice President, Alan Wilson, will take over as interim CEO … Alan will work with the rest of the Tripwire leadership team to take steps with employees and partners to address their concerns including executing a company-wide town hall meeting and promoting open dialogue with Tripwire leadership and all employees.
Additional information had also come to light regarding Gibson’s leadership techniques, with many former employees speaking out. Gibson allegedly had a “massively inflated sense of self programming skill,” and his ego apparently got in the way of working with and fostering good teams of trusted people.
At this time, it’s understood that Gibson hasn’t divested his share of the company ownership of Tripwire, which means while he may not be in a leadership position anymore, he will still make money from the company.