Harry ‘really excited’ to take up new business role at US firm

Joe Gammie, PA
·4-min read

The Duke of Sussex has said he is “really excited” to be taking a new role at US professional coaching and mental health firm BetterUp.

The company confirmed on Tuesday that Harry has been appointed chief impact officer.

BetterUp was founded in 2013 and provides mobile-based professional coaching, counselling and mentorship.

In a statement Harry said he was really excited to be joining the company and his goal as its first chief impact officer was to “lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations”.

The Duke said he will be focusing on driving advocacy and awareness for mental fitness, guiding the firm’s social mission, influencing the vision of its platform, community and member experience, and expanding its global community.

He said: “Self-optimisation is not about fixing something that’s broken.

“It’s about becoming the best version of ourselves, with whatever life throws at us – someone who is ready for the next challenge and can meet setbacks with courage, confidence and self-awareness.

“This is what BetterUp is making possible and I look forward to being on this journey with you.”

It is not clear what the role will involve, what hours Harry will be working or how much he will be paid.

Harry said that when he first met BetterUP’s chief executive, Alexi Robichaux, they “instantly recognised a shared passion for helping others realise their full potential”.

He added that they held a similar philosophy on mental health that “we must proactively take care of our minds”.

Harry said: “In addition to this shared philosophy, what caught my attention about BetterUp was that the company’s mission to unlock the potential in people everywhere necessitates innovation, impact and integrity.

Duke of Sussex
Duke of Sussex (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“Their team has been delivering on that work for years.

“I was also impressed by the scale and opportunity for impact – the ability to change millions of people’s lives for the better, through a combination of human connection, leading technology and behavioural science.”

The duke said that personally he had found working with a BetterUp coach to be “invaluable” and that the team from Archewell, the organisation founded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, also has access to the coaching.

BetterUp’s website says it has a network of more than 2,000 coaches offering coaching in 49 languages across 66 countries, along with “interactive professional development content, analytics and real-time insights to track employee progress”.

The new role comes about two weeks after Harry and his wife Meghan’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, when they accused an unnamed member of the royal family, not the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh, of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone would be, before he was born.

Meghan said she asked for help when she was suicidal, but said the institution gave her no support.

After the interview the Queen said in a statement that the issues raised, including race, would be “addressed by the family privately”.

Harry’s new role is his latest move into business after he and Meghan stepped back as senior working royals in March 2020, a move dubbed “Megxit”.

Harry and Meghan
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke to Oprah Winfrey (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions/PA)

The couple, who temporarily relocated to Canada, are now based in Meghan’s home city of Los Angeles with their son Archie.

The couple have signed a major deal with Netflix to make films and series for the streaming service, thought to be worth millions of pounds, giving them a global reach into millions of homes.

The streaming service said the couple will be producing a range of “content that informs but also gives hope” for Netflix, from documentaries and scripted series, to features and children’s programming.

Meghan and Harry have also signed a multiyear deal with audio streaming service Spotify to host and produce podcasts for an undisclosed sum, thought to be worth tens of millions of pounds.

The couple have appointed producer Ben Browning as head of content to oversee audio and production for the Netflix and Spotify deals.

Mr Browning will take charge of the Archewell Productions and Archewell Audio divisions of the company.

He has been nominated for a best picture Oscar, a Bafta, PGA Award, and Golden Globe for co-producing Emerald Fennell’s revenge thriller Promising Young Woman, starring Carey Mulligan.

He was also an executive-producer of HBO’s series I Know This Much Is True for which Mark Ruffalo won an Emmy and Golden Globe.