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Brendan Keys, Weta Digital’s head of human resources, has left the company after six years. The news comes in the midst of an independent review into the New Zealand-based vfx titan’s corporate culture.

Keys’s departure was announced in an email to staff sent by Prem Akkaraju, CEO of Weta Digital. “I would like to let everyone know that after over six years with Weta Digital, Brendan Keys has decided to retire,” the email said, according to New Zealand’s state-owned network TVNZ. “I would like to thank Brendan for his service to the company and wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Akkaraju wrote that the search for a new head of department is underway. An acting head of human resources has been appointed. Keys and Weta both declined to comment to TVNZ on the reason for Keys’s retirement.

Over the summer, TVNZ’s news division 1 News reported extensively on claims of bullying, sexism, harassment, and a generally “toxic” workplace at the company. To date, the show has gathered testimony from more than 50 current and former staff.

In September, the company commissioned an independent inquiry into the matter at the request of its owners, which include its co-founder Peter Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh. “There is no room for inappropriate behavior of any kind within the company,” it said in a statement at the time. “If crew members feel uncomfortable for any reason, we want to hear about it. All concerns are taken very seriously.”

The inquiry is being led by Miriam Dean QC (Queen’s Counsel, or senior barrister). According to TVNZ, it is expected to wrap up in the coming weeks, by which point Dean will have interviewed close to 200 staff.

Weta Digital sprang to fame through its work on Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. It has since worked on major productions including Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame, and the Avatar films. In June, the company hired Akkaraju and launched a new animation banner as it entered what it calls a “hypergrowth stage.”

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