The Sussexes’ Archewell has made new hires for podcasts, production & foundation

Every few months, the British media tries to give some kind of unhinged update on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s business and charity umbrella, Archewell. Royal reporters are truly examining Instagram posts and paying off British expats in Hollywood to figure out who is moving in or out of Archewell’s many positions. They’ve tried to create a narrative that Meghan and Harry (mostly Meghan) is “difficult” to work with and people leave the Sussexes’ employ in droves. That… is not factual. For Archewell in particular, it’s amazing to see what Harry and Meghan have done in less than three years, and of course there will be some different people coming in or going out, because the company and foundation are growing and changing. Anyway, Variety ran an exclusive about some new Archewell hires and moves.

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have made key new hires and promotions at their umbrella company Archewell. Entering its third year, the audio, philanthropic and content production operation continues to grow. In audio, Serena Regan has been named head of podcasts. Hired at the end of 2022, Regan will now lead all development in that portfolio. “Archetypes,” the vertical’s debut project, was released last year and marked Archewell’s first hit. An interview series about harmful labels that hold women back, the Meghan-hosted series topped Spotify charts in 47 countries. A second season has not formally been announced but is well expected.

Joining The Archewell Foundation, the couple’s philanthropic arm, is Shauna Nep. Having served as vice president of philanthropy at SB Projects since 2018, she joins as co-executive director and will work alongside executive director James Holt. Nep has also held positions at The Goldhirsh Foundation and Fundamental Inc.

Archewell Productions, the filmed content arm, made a big splash this year with the Netflix original “Harry & Meghan.” A candid look at the Duke and Duchess’ move to America and resignation as full-time royals, the series represents the most-streamed documentary premiere in Netflix history with 81.5 million minutes watched in its first week. It was overseen by internal content head Ben Browning, the Oscar-nominated producer of “Promising Young Woman.” Browning will part ways with Archewell later this year, at the expiration of his current deal. The unit will put its focus on scripted content, as Chanel Pysnik continues to oversee unscripted.

Following a first wave of audio and content releases, Archewell will streamline its marketing arm. It is currently led by Fara Taylor, who will also transition out of her role later this year. Taylor led the marketing campaigns for “Archetypes” and “Harry & Meghan,” as well as the global rollout of Prince Harry’s memoir “Spare.” Neither she nor Browning will be replaced, as the titles have been dissolved.

“Ben and Fara have been integral to the creation and execution of many critically and commercially acclaimed projects during their tenure. They have expertly delivered content and campaigns that have exceeded expectations and made their mark within the cultural zeitgeist,” said Archewell head of communications and global press secretary to Harry and Meghan, Ashley Hansen.

“They played a critical role in helping to tell the stories of the Duke and Duchess thus far and the couple remain hugely grateful for their support on those vital ‘look back’ projects, as they now look forward,” she added.

Hansen’s team has also seen expansion. Miranda Barbot has been named director of global communications and press secretary. Maren Thomas has been named manager of communications, and will work alongside Deesha Tank.

[From Variety]

I remember Omid Scobie telling a story about how, just after the Sussexes exited the UK, a palace courtier told Scobie that Harry and Meghan would never be able to replicate what the palace does. That was really what Windsors and their staff believed: that Harry (alone) would come crawling back because he wouldn’t be able to take care of himself or his business. Crash-cut to three years later, and I would argue that Harry and Meghan haven’t replicated the palace structure, they’ve made their own hybrid model which functions so much better and more efficiently than the palace system. They can move fluidly and reorganize and reassess in their own time, they hire people based on ability and not “connections,” and they have a real functional business AND a foundation. Variety also notes that Archewell will release an impact report on their charitable giving in the next week. Exciting!

One thing I’m watching is the moves they’re making with marketing and communications. Reportedly, they’ve moved everything in-house, meaning the Sussexes and their Archewell team are handling everything themselves without an outside publicist or outside/studio comms team. I think that’s smart and that says a lot about the organization they’ve built.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

50 Responses to “The Sussexes’ Archewell has made new hires for podcasts, production & foundation”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Snuffles says:

    The haters will twist it to say they can’t keep staff because Meghan is a bully, but from what I can tell, they were able to convince some INCREDIBLY talented, experienced and high powered people to help them get their foundation and projects off the ground but only for a short period of time.

    If you look at their resumes, there was no way any of them were going to be permanent fixtures. They were just too big league. But that the Sussex’s were able to convince them to come on board for a year or two, speaks volumes about them and the work they were doing. That these people were willing to put their careers on pause to help this start up, is impressive.

    • equality says:

      I would think most of these people pick and choose projects and move around frequently anyway?

      • MaryContrary says:

        Absolutely-these are jobs that are project based and kind of niche. It’s the newer way of the world.

    • Caribbean says:

      I would not be surprised if the royals try to hire them

      • TheFarmer'sWife says:

        They could try, although these people are professionals and would require a salary reflective of their resumes. The “royals” assume people want to work for them for peanuts because it’s a privilege to breathe the same air and be near “those chosen by god.” Let’s be clear, the only reason these particular “royals” are in charge is that their predecessors either killed off other family members or were allowed to live because they were ultimately useful to someone with more money or power. Liz only became Queen because her uncle abdicated. Think of what might have happened if David had remained King! In the olden days, Anne would’ve been sold off to another “royal family.” UpChuck would’ve offed Mummy. PedoPrince would’ve been sent to fight in some dumb war and been stabbed in the back so UpChuck wouldn’t have to worry about him. Eddy would’ve been miscalculated as not being a threat and put in charge of the money. Upon seeing the money, Eddy would’ve offed UpChuck and become King. LOL. Yeah, I know it’s entirely off-topic. None of the current working royals appears to be all that smart, lucky, but not smart. Certainly not smart enough to hire qualified people to do a proper PR job.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @Snuffles: You’re absolutely right. It does say something about Harry and Meghan that all these successful people were willing to pause their own careers and projects to help them to set up Archewell and to get started.

    • Caribbean says:

      I would not call it putting their careers on pause. They weren’t doing the Sussexes a favor, they were conpensated and were expected to do good wirk. It’s absolutely a resume and career builder. Although the media and haters try to dimish them, the Sussexes are a Big deal

      • Amy Bee says:

        People like Ben Browning and Mandani were already successful in their own right. Browning had just won an Oscar when he joined Archewell. He could have said no I’ve just won an Oscar and I’m going to concentrate on my own thing. No doubt helping Archewell would look good on his CV but it does say something that he wanted to help Harry and Meghan.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Amy Bee – even an Oscar winner would want to be involved in a project that would clearly be a blockbuster.

  2. BothSidesNow says:

    Further proof that Harry and Meghan have created a fully functional company that oversees their content creation and have developed a specific band of goals to achieve. I would also like to give a shout out to both Harry and Megan to have advanced many positions out of their current staff which is something that the Monarchy never does and simply hires based on connections and no known substantive knowledge regarding what they are hired for.

    I am immensely happy and excited where Harry and Meghan take Archwell in their upcoming projects, all of which will be a smashing success due to their respective content so far. I wish nothing but happiness for them both as they deserve every bit that comes their way!!! Congratulations to Harry and Meghan who have proven that your hard work and your compassion is appreciated and needed, especially at times like now.

  3. equality says:

    Why would they want to “replicate the palace structure”? You can point to any foundation around and it will be doing charity work better than the palace.

    • Nic919 says:

      The palace is a mess filled with backstabbing and idiocy and if they weren’t getting perpetual government funding with no prospect or need of having to be profitable they would have been shut down ages ago.

      Even regular British companies don’t follow the model of any of the palaces because they need to be profitable and not an HR mess and liability. For anyone to think H and M have to copy that shows the utter stupidity of that courtier and how out of touch they are with how profitable companies run.

    • Layla says:

      @equality exactly! They say that as if the “palace structure” is successful 😐

    • Jais says:

      If anything, they looked at the palace structure and said yeah, that’s what we’re not going to do.

    • Jaded says:

      The Palace structure is on very rickety scaffolding right now and by the stunning lack of professional, knowledgeable people to wrangle the royals into doing something remotely useful, it’s on its last legs.

    • Mary Pester says:

      Yes especially when you read the launch blurb for khates latest project, and I quote “the princess of Wales (also known as botox barbie) has written an open letter to UK parents stressing the importance of the first 5 formative years of a child’s life as happy, healthy children, shape a happy healthy future. Sorry but I wish we could all write back to her saying “, no sht Sherlock, but anything can happen in those first 5 years, you know like the massive cost of living crisis that we are all facing, unlike YOU

      • Emily_C says:

        So if your first 5 years aren’t happy and healthy you’re sol, huh? And after a kid turns 6 who cares, treat them however you want. That’s how this reads to me anyway.

    • seaflower says:

      The palace works in spite of itself not because of any great talent, knowledge or pixie dust. It’s a huge behemoth that rolls forward but depends on the media to help. It’s not the center of the universe despite what they think.

  4. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Right. Hire the most experienced (and thus probably the most expensive) people temporarily to launch your endeavor, and once the wheels are spinning and it’s on its way, that person moves on to the next exciting adventure for them, while you give someone with less experience (and is less expensive to employ) the reins so they can keep the ship on course while building up their own credentials and expertise. I see no problems here. Thank u, next!

    • Magdalena says:

      Is this a joke? This is clearly what H+M are NOT doing. Can’t decide whether this a troll comment or not.

  5. Louise177 says:

    A lot of hires were just to establish the Archewell divisions so that Harry and Meghan can be more hands on. Some positions weren’t refilled or became in house. If the people who left hated them so much why hasn’t there been any stories about it?

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    The main reason the royals are in so much trouble now is because when the Sussexes left, they not only took all the charisma. They took all the brains too.

  7. MsIam says:

    The palaces have been hiring and moving people around too during this same time period so not sure what the trashloids are going on about. What I think this really proves is that the Sussexes are never going back to that “family”. They have a real company to run now and it will only get bigger and do more things.

  8. Amy Bee says:

    Harry and Meghan are just smart people and I think that was part of the problem for the Palace. They made everybody else look old fashioned and out of touch. I’m excited for what comes next for Harry and Meghan. They should be really proud of what they’ve been able to achieve.

  9. Lissen says:

    People who have the skills set to start up projects and get them established at the self-sustainable stage do not necessarily have the skills set required to keep these same projects running successfully. Two different skills sets; two different types of professionals. We see this all the time in the business world. The starter comes in, gets the project going, then moves on to the next exciting new start. The sustainer takes over and runs the project, successfully.

    Two different mindsets. Two different skill sets. Nothing unusual. Nothing to troll.

    • Nene says:

      Exactly this! It’s part of the maturation process for many companies and it’s a good sign IMO.

    • lemontwist says:

      This totally makes sense. I have no experience in their type of philanthropic realm but for any endeavor that expands the way theirs has, it wouldn’t make sense for everyone to stay in the same place or for people not to come and go along with growth phases.

    • Magdalena says:

      Thank you, THIS is exactly the case. You have put it so much better than I could have done. There is nothing for trolls to feast on or roll their eyes about. Harry and Meghan are consummate professionals. They are secure enough in themselves and their abilities and competent in their planning and strategy that they are able to hire the people they want to do specific things they require for specific periods, e.g., to help them get projects up and running and to market. That’s how many successful businesses are run.

  10. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    I’m loving the current trajectory of both the Sussex’s and Archewell, I believe that it will allow the Sussex’s and Archewell to flourish and evolve for years to come. Neither are flash-in-the-pans but are serious, conscientious and driven by purpose and compassion, I believe that we are going to see many, many great things from them for quite a long time.

  11. one of the marys says:

    Meghan showed them her creativity, skills, work ethic and connections during her tenure as a senior royal. They were too busy hating her to notice and it’s a shock now that she / they continue to succeed.

  12. Nic919 says:

    They always seem to forget that Meghan comes from the real world and worked in the private sector creating a successful career from scratch and not inherited power. If Meghan doesn’t have a particular skill for something, she knows to find a person to help. Staff transition from startup to something different shows they understand how businesses evolve.

    Meghan and Harry aren’t pretending to repackage inanities from years before and pretend it is something new. So all these “experts” really don’t know what they are saying. And the fact that an industry paper like Variety is covering this shows they are seen as players in the industry.

  13. Anna says:

    I wonder if the Sussexes bringing their marketing in-house this year is a sign that they’ll be returning in some capacity to social media? Because I love their work, and I appreciate how far they’ve come in starting their foundation and company from scratch since they left the BRF, but it would be great if there was a way to follow their work directly rather than waiting for the British tabloids to freak out about their initiatives.

    (Their website/newsletter to put it kindly, is not Good. Not everyone has the time to visit their website on a regular basis for updates, and I’ve heard that the newsletter rarely ever gets sent.)

    • TheVolvesSeidr says:

      I agree @Anna. I’ve never received a newsletter from Archewell and only hear about the happenings via twitter and here. I’d follow any social media they had. I think they should turn off the comments/tagging features. They don’t need any negativity added to their lives. Let the haters stew.

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        TheVolvesSeidr, they could go to Spoutible which will be up and running on February 1st. Christopher Bouzy and his team have created it and with Bot Sentinel and Christopher on the job, it’s going to be GREAT! Civil discourse instead of hate and harassment. I urge people to preregister!.

  14. The Old Chick says:

    Just curious where all those new member haters are today, because they couldn’t shut up about fake outrage yesterday!

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      The Old Chick, that is interesting. I wonder what they’re up to?

    • RoyalBlue says:

      That was on Friday, and it was probably the Rota on undercover duty. They are resting on the weekend so look out for them to start their trolling tomorrow.

  15. TheVolvesSeidr says:

    H&M are exciting. People want to know what they’re doing all of the time, even their enemies. I am really looking forward to the impact report. It’s going to be killer and the naysayers are going to vomit, clutch pearls and throw skirts up over their heads in dismay. Cannot wait.

    I love their success. It’s huge and well-won. They are working hard and making a positive difference in communities and in people’s lives. The RF cannot say that. Ever.

  16. GDubslady says:

    I hope the Sussexes do an African Parks documentary on Netflix like Obama did the US Parks documentary. I know both were involved in African humanitarian projects.

    • Little Red says:

      The Obama doc wasn’t just US national parks. They focused on parks around the world.

      I think your idea to do one focused on national parks in Africa is great. I would watch the hell out of it since I’ve only been to Africa once and I would love to go back and see another part of the continent.

  17. Aig says:

    The fact that these people will leave “later in the year” tells you all you need to know. There is trust so they will continue to work until the end of their contract. People with issues/grievances, leave right away.

  18. RoSco says:

    Wow, the UK is going to lose it when that Archewell impact report is released! Bet you anything we see articles comparing it to, say, the cost of the Sussexes’ wardrobe or their home.

  19. AMY TAYLOR says:

    I just happen to so so love these two. They’re simply the BEST in every apset of everything they intend to do in the future and we’ll all not be surprised, GOOD LUCK to the Sussexes.

  20. Rnot says:

    The “fans” trying to defend that empty-handed food bank visit keep trying to deflect that no one knows how much Archewell has donated. Looking forward to the sudden silence and pivot to a different criticism after that report drops. It’s so predictable.

  21. Emily_C says:

    They can’t do what the palace does. Like what, take bags of cash from the shadiest people in the world, shield rapists, and wheel about in brand new gold carriages? Oh, and get anyone who protests them arrested, can’t forget that valuable service.

  22. Rachel Sun says:

    Getting a new production company and charitable foundation off the ground successfully is a remarkable achievement. Many have tried and failed. As a side note tired of idiots saying Netflix paid 100 million for the 1 documentary. No one outside Netflix and the Sussex know the amount and the deal is for many projects,not just the one documentary. Netflix didn’t pay 100 million for 1 docuseries. More BM lies.

  23. QuiteContrary says:

    They are a very impressive couple.

  24. blunt talker says:

    I really like seeing their work ethic on display-as they said service is universal

  25. JJ says:

    They are killing it! They had a couple of quiet years due to the pandemic but they used that time wisely and have become multi media business moguls. The best revenge is living well.