CEO says Harry Hire is a natural fit, not a publicity stunt


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The BetterUp Inc. chief executive said Wednesday that he hired Prince Harry as an executive because of his tenacious advocacy of the type of mental health services his company provides, and the publicity the move generated is simply a advantage. .

Chief Executive Officer Alexi Robichaux spoke to The Associated Press a day after the announcement that the Duke of Sussex will play the specially created role of chief impact officer at San Francisco-based BetterUp, which sells companies employee training and help with Mental health.

“Prince Harry has been one of the fiercest advocates of mental well-being or mental fitness for many years,” Robichaux said, citing Harry’s work for organizations like Head Fit, a service he launched in association with the Ministry of Defense of the United States. UK. “This has been a big part of his personal life journey and his personal life mission.”

It doesn’t hurt, he admitted, that Harry is among the most famous men in the world, who seems to be constantly breaking news along with his wife, Meghan Markle.

“It’s impressive. I mean, look, we’ll take the press, it certainly helps,” he said. But he was quick to add, “that’s not the driving motivation here.”

Robichaux said the role grew out of months of conversations he and Harry had after they were introduced by an anonymous mutual friend who rightly thought they both thought the same thing.

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“There was a lot of energy and enthusiasm on both sides around this mission of how we could use technology, how we could use science, how we could use human experts to help people go through a journey of personal growth and transformation.” Robichaux said. “And that was the beginning.”

However, the pandemic has prevented her from meeting Harry in person, and that may not happen anytime soon. The company, whose job it is to help employees through text messages and video conferencing, is naturally friendly to work remotely even under normal circumstances, and that’s what Harry will primarily do.

The Duke of Sussex will not have an office at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco nor will he have employees who report directly to him, Robichaux said.

“He will come to the offices and attend company events once it is safe and things reopen,” Robichaux said.

He said he is not concerned with the practicalities of having a prince wandering the halls or showing up at meetings, and that he will not use any royal titles.

“In the workplace, he prefers to be called Harry,” said the CEO. “So we address him as Harry. It is extremely accessible and accessible, and it is certainly very majestic and dignified. But I think one of the best things is that he likes to roll up his sleeves and be helpful and very focused on adding value. “

And he said that even though he’s technically Harry’s boss, he will avoid that approach to the relationship.

“It’s funny, I never thought about it until this week when reporters asked me how it feels,” he said. “I don’t see it that way. I really consider him a partner. “

Prince Harry landed another new role Wednesday, this one on the commission of a think tank to combat misinformation.

The Washington DC-based Aspen Institute announced that Harry will be one of 18 members of its Commission on Information Disorders.

The Duke of Sussex said in a statement that the current “avalanche of disinformation” must be addressed as “a humanitarian issue and as such calls for a multi-stakeholder response from advocacy voices, members of the media. , academic researchers, and both. ” government and civil society leaders ”.

The new jobs for Harry are among several he and Meghan have taken on since moving to California. They have signed an agreement to create content for Netflix and they’re creating podcasts for Spotify.

For the past year, the two have been working to untangle their lives from the British royal family, a separation made more marked by a March 7 interview that made waves with Oprah Winfrey..

Also Wednesday, Lifetime TV announced that it will focus on the royal couple’s disappointment and break out of Buckingham Palace in its third film about them. “Harry & Meghan: Escaping the Palace” will air on the US cable channel in the fall of this year. It follows “Harry & Meghan” from 2018 and “Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal” from 2019.

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