Prince Harry presiding over ‘toxic boys’ club,’ former employees claim

28 July 2022

5:28 PM

28 July 2022

5:28 PM

Steerpike is fond of a periodical check-in with modern Renaissance men. And they don’t come much more multi-talented than Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Mr. Meghan Markle, formerly HRH. Following his departure from official royal duties, the people’s prince has kept busy by locking himself into lucrative positions at some of the planet’s most prestigious companies. His multiple deals — Netflix and Spotify to name two — were not uncommon for an up-and-coming sleb, but the most bizarre of his roles was joining the ‘mental fitness’ start-up BetterUp as ‘chief impact officer.’ Oh, how we smirked, with the occasional eye roll, firm in the belief that he’d be back in Britain soon enough, grovelling to granny for his lovely old life back.

Yet judging from the testimonies of ex-employees, BetterUp seem to be professional in nothing other than virtue-signalling, and while they may talk the talk, by all accounts, they do not walk the walk. On Glassdoor, one employee branded the company a ‘Toxic Boys Club,’ claiming they felt discouraged to speak up when something didn’t sit right, and that ‘wartime; language was used to push people to their limits. Another claimed that BetterUp was a ‘psychologically unsafe place to work,’ saying, ‘everyone is uncomfortable and living in fear. It’s keep your head down… do your work, don’t get on someone’s bad side. No one will go to HR as HR is close to the leaders.’

Steerpike was shocked to hear claims that the company is rife with nepotism, something in which Harry, the original nepo-baby will be well-versed. Employees claimed that the ‘inner circle was impenetrable’ because of how incestuous the leadership was. ‘They lie, play games, test/watch/spy on employees… it’s a pretty nasty underbelly.’ Naturally, and given that online testimonies can’t be verified, BetterUp was approached for comment before publication but none was forthcoming.

Another poster said that they can’t wait for a Netflix exposé of BetterUp. Steerpike can’t help but speculate that a documentary might be the only way that Netflix will actually recoup any of the $100 million from the deal they struck with Duke and Duchess Dolittle, as the expensive ‘partnership’ declared in 2020 has so far resulted in… nothing.

When Harry packed up Frogmore Cottage for Montecito, it looked as if he had it all planned out. Privacy, financial independence and wellness were suddenly at the top of his agenda — a far cry from the brash, publicly-funded prince for which the world had developed a soft spot. Two years later and it seems that the promise of a new life in Jonestown wasn’t all it was cracked up to be; after jumping from career to career — and not really doing much in any of them — Harry seems a bit lost.

Earlier this month, keeping on trend with his new image as the prince of wellness, Harry Krishna found himself interviewing athletes and psychologists in a promotional film for BetterUp. The clip starts with Harry calling on us to remember that we ‘all have greatness within us,’ before adding that he now uses his free time to better himself, revealing, ‘It’s either for workouts, taking the dog for a walk, getting out into nature, maybe meditating.’

It got Steerpike thinking: this bizarre transition to Holistic Harry happened pretty fast. His days, which used to be filled with public engagements and parties, now see him meditating in Montecito, announcing that we should all take time for ourselves, even proclaiming that if we don’t like our job, that we should just quit like he did. What are the characteristics of a cult again? A charismatic leader who is preoccupied with money-making; an us-versus-them mentality, mind-numbing techniques such as meditation, elitists who think they’re saving the world and so on and so on…

If Steerpike were to offer one piece of advice, it would be that Harry may be better off without BetterUp. Oh — and don’t drink the Kool-Aid.

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