- BetterUp didn’t hire Prince Harry for the publicity, its CEO Alexi Robichaux told CNN.
- But he suggested that the PR would be an added bonus.
- Instead, the company hired Harry because of his past experience with mental-health groups, he said.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Prince Harry is taking on a new role as chief impact officer at BetterUp – but the CEO of the Silicon Valley mental health and coaching startup says that he didn’t hire Harry to get publicity.
In an interview on Wednesday, CNN’s Julia Chatterley asked the company’s CEO Alexi Robichaux whether the move was a PR stunt and whether he could be a distraction for the broader business.
“I think the main thing is sure, we’ll take the PR,” Robichaux said.
“That’s not why we started working with Prince Harry,” he added.
Harry and wife Meghan Markle have repeatedly hit the headlines since they started dating in 2016. Earlier this month, their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey was branded by UK tabloids as the “worst royal crisis in 85 years.” The interview led to an outpouring of support for the couple, Piers Morgan’s resignation from his job, and the Royal Family saying that they would address reports of racism privately.
Robichaux told CNN that BetterUp decided to hire Harry because of “who he is as a person.”
“I was so impressed with his genuine and sincere desire to be of service and to make a positive impact in the world,” he added.
Robichaux also referred to other work that Harry has done for Heads Together, a mental-health initiative led by Prince William and Kate Middleton, and the Invictus Games, a competition for injured military personnel and veterans Harry founded.
“Long before we had the opportunity meeting him, I had always had a daydream that maybe we would be fortunate enough to work with someone like him, who’s been one of the leading forces in the world for mental health,” Robichaux said.
“We could not have thought of someone better for this role and we’re thrilled to work with him.”
Harry will also be dropping his “Duke of Sussex” and “Prince” titles for the new role, and will instead just go by his first name, Insider’s Mikhaila Friel reported.
In his job as chief impact officer – a new role at the company – Harry will keep BetterUp accountable, expand its global reach, and influence “everything from our product experience to helping partner with companies and organizations globally,” Robichaux told CNN. In a blog post for BetterUp, Harry said that he will also drive advocacy and awareness for mental fitness and build up the startup’s library of content and resources.
Robichaux declined to comment on how much Harry would be paid.
But the couple already had a collective net worth of $30 million independent of the crown, according to 2018 estimates from Money.com. Since then, they have founded their own production company and signed a multiyear deal with Netflix.