Prince Harry may no longer be part of the family business, man—but he’s officially now a businessman. On Tuesday, it was confirmed that Meghan Markle’s husband has accepted a role at a Silicon Valley startup.
In other words, he’s gone full California.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new role, which Harry will be the first to assume, is appropriately in line with his stated commitment to mental health initiatives, including an upcoming Apple TV+ series with friend and recent interviewer Oprah. “The Duke of Sussex will become chief impact officer of BetterUp Inc., the fast-growing coaching and mental health firm,” WSJ reported.
BetterUp proudly posted the news to Instagram Tuesday evening, writing:
We are honored to welcome Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex as BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer.
Prince Harry is a natural addition to our executive team, as he’s long been an advocate for improving mental fitness — the key to peak performance, powerful leadership, and a purpose-driven self. He is excited to join BetterUp to help more people unlock their potential through coaching, connection, and community support.
In his role, Prince Harry will guide our social mission, expand our global community, and influence the vision of our member experience, bringing the power of professional and personal growth to people everywhere.
On its site, BetterUp explained more about Harry’s new role, as did the prince himself in a statement that outlined the four key areas he will focus on at the company, reading in part:
What I’ve learned in my own life is the power of transforming pain into purpose...what caught my attention about BetterUp was that the company’s mission to unlock the potential in people everywhere necessitates innovation, impact, and integrity. 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 behavioral science...
As BetterUp’s first Chief Impact Officer, my goal is to lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations. And my hope is to help people develop their inner strength, resilience, and confidence.
Harry also revealed that he has personally benefited from working with a BetterUp coach and that he and Meghan have also provided access to coaching to the team at their nonprofit, Archewell. “I intend to help create impact in people’s lives,” he said in an email to WSJ.
BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux echoed the sentiment, telling WSJ that “It’s a meaningful and meaty role,” and explaining that he and Harry began “conversations” last fall after being introduced by a mutual friend. However, Robichaux was a little vague on exactly how meaty, simply stating that Harry will be an “officer of the corporation” in a non-management capacity who may “spend some time” in BetterUp’s San Francisco headquarters as well as in all-hands meetings. Perhaps most tellingly, Harry “is also expected to appear at special company events,” reports WSJ.
Robichaux also would not disclose how much the Duke of Sussex will be earning in his new role, but it’s doubtful the duke is in desperate need of funds at present. Despite recent revelations to Oprah that he’d been cut off from the royal family and had temporarily lived off of money inherited from his late mother Diana’s estate, he and Meghan also recently scored highly lucrative, multi-year deals with Netflix and Spotify, the former of which alone was speculated to be worth approximately $100 million.
That said, the lifestyle he’d become accustomed to as son of the future king of England ain’t cheap. With a growing family of his own now, Harry is apparently ready to get a day job.
“This is about acknowledging that it isn’t so much what is wrong with us, but more about what has happened to us over the course of life,” he told WSJ. “Often because of societal barriers, financial difficulty, or stigma, too many people aren’t able to focus on their mental health until they’re forced to. I want us to move away from the idea that you have to feel broken before reaching out for help.”
Speaking of broken, in regard to Harry’s relationship with another future king of England, his brother William, word is still out on whether their once-strong bond will be fully repaired. An exclusive report/puff-piece published on Saturday by the London Times claimed “William misses Harry,” with a friend of the elder prince telling the outlet: “It’s still raw. He’s very upset by what’s happened, though absolutely intent that he and Harry’s relationship will heal in time.”
Proving the palace PR team definitely deserves a raise, fellow British outlet the Telegraph countered with its own coverage on Saturday, publishing an interview with Seyi Obakin, OBE, longtime friend of the prince and CEO of UK charity Centrepoint, one of William’s royal patronages since 2005. Bolstering Wills’ claim that the royals are “very much not a racist family,” Obakin told the Telegraph:
“I have never seen a hint of racism. Never. I have worked with him in close proximity for years.”
Obakin shared that his friendship with the prince began when the two participated in “sleep-outs” together in support of the organization, adding that William—or “PW,” as Obakin calls him—had volunteered on numerous occasions “as part of a multi-ethnic team serving a multi-ethnic group of young people.”
“He has met my family. He’s never treated us with anything other than decency, dignity and respect,” Obakin added.
This is the part where we remind you that there’s a world of difference between being friendly or philanthropic and welcoming someone into your immediate, elitist, historically colonialist family with open arms. But hey, we’re just dumb Americans with day jobs. What do we know?