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

Boss Harry and Meghan’s media empire is leaving after 18 months – just days before their Netflix documentary is released

  • One of Harry and Meghan’s key aides quit just before the documentary began
  • Mandana Dayani, 40, stepped down as Archewell’s president this weekend
  • He is one of several senior figures to leave the Sussexes’ company

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

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

A spokeswoman for Meghan and Harry said last night that they would “take full ownership of their company”.

The Iranian-born activist, with her connections to the American media, was considered one of the most important advisers to the Duke and Duchess.

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

Her surprise exit comes just days before a stunning 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 senior staff members to leave the Duke and Duchess since 2018.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lost another key aide, The Mail on Sunday reveals (pictured: Meghan with former Archewell chairwoman Mandana Dayani)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have lost another key aide, The Mail on Sunday reveals (pictured: Meghan with former Archewell chairwoman Mandana Dayani)

Her surprise departure comes just days before a stunning six-part documentary series about the couple's acrimonious split from the royal family.

Her surprise departure comes just days before a stunning six-part documentary series about the couple’s acrimonious split from the royal family.

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

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In a statement, Ashley Hansen, Meghan and Harry’s spokeswoman, said last night that Ms Dayani had been “an integral part of Archewell and we are grateful for her passion, dedication and leadership”.

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

She continued to successfully shape his vision and future. Her transition was mutually planned, with the Duke and Duchess now fully assuming leadership of their company.

‘There will be no replacement in this position and Mrs Dayani fully supports the Duke and Duchess in their new leadership roles and they remain friends.’

Catherine St-Laurent

Toya Holness

Catherine St-Laurent and Toya Holness have split from the Sussexes

Ms Dayani, a self-described “entrepreneur, lawyer, activist, executive producer and investor”, posted a picture on Instagram in October of herself alongside Meghan and Ms Hansen.

As president of Archewell, Ms. Dayani oversaw the couple’s production and audio businesses and their nonprofit foundation.

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

She was instrumental in the development of Meghan’s Spotify podcast Archetypes and is leaving on the eve of Archewell’s biggest success: a Netflix series set to dominate headlines around the world.

Ms Dayani changed her LinkedIn profile this weekend to indicate that her high-profile role at Archewell was over. Her page now reads: ‘President, Archewell, full time from June 2021 to December 2022, 1 year and 7 months.’

While she has been able to return to two other activist roles, Ms. Dayani has yet to specify a new title or position, suggesting she has not left Archewell to take a new job.

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