It’s been over a year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped away from their roles as working members of the royal family, and now it seems, Prince Harry is ready to take on a new title. Prince Harry’s been hired as the Chief Impact Officer of Silicon Valley startup BetterUp.
“The Duke of Sussex is going to work for the unicorn employee coaching and mental health startup in his latest foray into business,” reads the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on Harry’s appointment. In his new role, Prince Harry will have “input into initiatives including product strategy decisions and charitable contributions, and advocate publicly on topics related to mental health,” per the newspaper.
“I intend to help create impact in people’s lives,” Prince Harry told the newspaper via email. “Proactive coaching provides endless possibilities for personal development, increased awareness, and an all-round better life.” BetterUp CEO Alexi Robichaux – whom Harry met through a mutual friend last year – referred to the role as “meaningful” and “meaty”.
“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,” added Prince Harry. “I want us to move away from the idea that you have to feel broken before reaching out for help.”
The Duke’s pay and details of his employment agreement were kept private. Instead, the startup boss simply said that their new hire would join the company’s leadership team as an “officer of the corporation.”
According to WSJ, it is unlikely that Prince Harry will manage employees or have direct reports, but he is expected to spend time at the company’s San Francisco headquarters (once it is safe to do so) and to “participate in all-hands meetings,” said Robichaux. Prince Harry is also expected to appear at special company events.
“He’s synonymous with this approach of mental fitness and really investing in yourself,” Robichaux said. “It was not a hard internal sale.”
BetterUp was founded in 2013 and was soon valued at $1.7bn, making it a so-called “unicorn” – a new company valued at more than $1bn. Per the Guardian, BetterUp employs 2,000 coaches and has 300 business clients including Hilton, Nasa, Chevron, and Mars.
Per the Guardian, CIO or “chimpos” as chief impact offers are sometimes called, is an increasingly popular position at startups and Silicon Valley firms and “usually carries responsibility for measuring sustainability, mental health, and a company’s impact on wider society.” Salesforce was month the first to introduce the position, though WSJ notes that the title is “more common in the nonprofit realm at organisations such as Amnesty International USA and the United Way.”
In true Prince Harry style, his approach to the job is already proving to be very grounded. Speaking about filling out the awkward process of filling out the initial questionnaire (his background didn’t fit a multiple-choice list of questions) he said: “I realise I’m an outlier so there’s no need to get the engineers on it!” Before adding “I was matched with my coach who, quite frankly, is truly awesome and has always given me sound advice and a fresh perspective, which is so valuable.”
The news of Harry’s new role coincides with Archewell’s own new hires being announced. Harry and Meghan have also signed multimillion-dollar deals with Spotify and Netflix.