Prince Harry has been appointed ‘chief impact officer’ for San Francisco-based start-up BetterUp Inc and says he is “really excited” to start.
BetterUp was founded in 2013 and provides mobile-based professional coaching, counselling, and mentorship.
In a statement, Harry said he was excited to be joining BetterUp and proclaimed that he wanted to ‘lift up critical dialogues around mental health, build supportive and compassionate communities, and foster an environment for honest and vulnerable conversations’.
‘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.’
“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.”
BetterUp chief executive Alexi Robichaux said he was introduced to Harry through a mutual friend and began to speak about the role with him last autumn. He insisted the prince’s appointment wasn’t just window dressing because of who he is, saying: ‘It’s a meaningful and meaty role.’
The job of chief impact officer is rare in the corporate world but more common in charity sector, where it can command a salary of £80,000 upwards. However, the true worth of Harry’s deal could run into the tens of millions.
Mr Robichaux declined to tell the Wall Street Journal how Prince Harry would be compensated, or any details of his employment agreement, but said he would be joining the firm’s leadership team as an ‘officer of the corporation’.
The US newspaper made clear that the prince would not manage any employees, but is likely to spend time in the company’s San Francisco headquarters once it is safe to do so, and to participate in meetings. Significantly, Mr Robichaux said he is also expected to appear at special company events – indicating Harry will become a ‘face’ of the brand.
He admitted that the company had been attracted to the prince by his ‘prior advocacy work as a member of the Royal Family’, particularly in the arena of mental health, as well as his experience in the military, and argued that Harry ‘could bring a different perspective to the company’ as ‘he comes from a very different background’.
Highlighting his own mental health mantra, Harry said he wanted to encourage people not to feel embarrassed seeking help, adding: ‘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.’
Mr Robichaux said senior executives were keen to have Harry on board. ‘He will obviously have the whole organisation sprinting to help him,’ he said.
Mr Bukowski added: ‘He’s got this woke job title of Chief Impact Officer and today’s announcement has done just that for the company, had a huge impact.
‘This announcement is worth millions to this startup in free publicity and if he’s done a good deal with a salary as well as shares in the business, it will probably make millions for Harry too.
‘He could never have done this deal if he was still a working member of the Royal Family. They’ve announced the job just after the Oprah interview, amid an outpouring of support for the couple in the US. They’re on a crest of a wave there. If the company is as good as Harry says, it is a smart move. But if it’s a pile of poop, he won’t have to many more chances to cash in.’
He added: ‘If people weren’t clear on Harry and Meghan’s business strategy, they should be now.’
BetterUp employs therapists and executive coaches on contracts, who are paired with clients to provide mental health coaching by video link through the app. Most of its clients are in the United States, but it does have executive coaches employed in the UK.
The tech firm that works with corporate giants including Facebook, Google, Snap Inc, NASA, Hilton and Warner Brothers. There will be some raised eyebrows because Harry has spoken widely on the need to protect the environment, but BetterUp has also worked with oil giant Chevron.
A statement on the company’s website said: ‘Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex is a humanitarian, military veteran, mental wellness advocate, and environmentalist.
‘As co-founder of Archewell, he is focused on driving systemic change across all communities through non-profit work as well as creative activations.
‘The mission across Archewell—which currently includes Archewell Foundation, Archewell Productions, and Archewell Audio—is united behind the deeply held belief that compassion is the defining cultural force of the 21st century.
‘Prince Harry has dedicated his life’s work to advancing causes that he is passionate about.
‘He is the Founder of The Invictus Games, a platform for wounded, injured and sick service personnel to use sport as part of their rehabilitation, as well as Travalyst, a non-profit entity comprised of several of the largest online travel agencies in the world.
Analysis by William Roaches from Newspresslive.com