Boss of Harry and Meghan’s TV firm leaves after 18 months, days before Netflix documentary release

Boss of Harry and Meghan’s media empire leaves after 18 months – just days before the release of their Netflix documentary

  • One of Harry and Meghan’s key aides quit just before launch of documentary
  • Mandana Dayani, 40, stepped down as president of Archewell this weekend
  • She is one of several high-ranking figures to have left the Sussexes’ company

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lost another key aide, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Mandana Dayani, 40, this weekend stepped down as president of Archewell, the couple’s media empire and charitable foundation.

A spokeswoman for Meghan and Harry last night said the pair would ‘take full lead of their company’.

With her US media connections, the Iranian-born activist was considered one of the Duke and Duchess’s most important advisers.

She has been at Archewell, where she oversaw day-to-day operations, for less than 18 months.

Her surprise exit comes only days before a bombshell six-part documentary series about the couple’s acrimonious split from the Royal Family – produced by Archewell and streaming giant Netflix – is released online.

Ms Dayani is the latest of at least 13 top staff to leave the Duke and Duchess since 2018.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lost another key aide, The Mail on Sunday can reveal (Pictured: Meghan with former Archewell president Mandana Dayani)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lost another key aide, The Mail on Sunday can reveal (Pictured: Meghan with former Archewell president Mandana Dayani)

Her surprise exit comes only days before a bombshell six-part documentary series about the couple's acrimonious split from the Royal Family

Her surprise exit comes only days before a bombshell six-part documentary series about the couple’s acrimonious split from the Royal Family

Toya Holness, Archewell’s global press secretary, parted company with the Sussexes earlier this year, while Catherine St-Laurent, their chief of staff and a director of Archewell, left in March last year after little over 12 months in the role.

In a statement, Ashley Hansen, Meghan and Harry’s global press secretary, last night said that Ms Dayani ‘has been an integral part of Archewell and we are grateful for her passion, commitment and leadership’.

She added: ‘Ms Dayani was brought on during their parental leave to move the company and its projects forward.

‘She has continued to shape its vision and future successfully. Her transition was mutually planned, with intent for the Duke and Duchess to now take full lead of their company.

‘There will be no replacement for this position, and Ms Dayani is fully supportive of the Duke and Duchess in their new leadership roles, and they remain friends.’

Catherine St-Laurent

Toya Holness

Catherine St-Laurent and Toya Holness both parted company with the Sussexes

A self-described ‘entrepreneur, attorney, activist, executive producer, and investor’, Ms Dayani posted a picture on Instagram in October of her alongside Meghan and Ms Hansen.

As president of Archewell, Ms Dayani oversaw the couple’s production and audio companies and their non-profit foundation.

In 2020, she launched a podcast with actress Debra Messing – star of US sitcom Will & Grace – which featured interviews with well-known advocates for social issues including Sophia Bush, Hillary Clinton and Jane Fonda.

She played a key role in developing Meghan’s Spotify podcast Archetypes, and leaves on the eve of Archewell’s biggest success: a Netflix series which is set to dominate headlines around the world.

Ms Dayani changed her LinkedIn profile this weekend to show that her high-profile role at Archewell was over. Her page now reads: ‘President, Archewell, Full-time Jun 2021 – Dec 2022, 1 yr 7 months.’

While she has been able to fall back on two other activist roles, Ms Dayani has not yet listed a new job title or position, suggesting that she did not leave Archewell to take on a new job. 

Source

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