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

The boss of Harry and Meghan’s media empire is leaving after 18 months – just days before the release of their Netflix documentary.

  • One of Harry and Meghan’s aides quit before the job began
  • Mandana Dayani, 40, stepped down as CEO of Archewell this week
  • He is one of several high-profile departures from the Sussexes

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

Mandana Dayani, 40, stepped down this week as president of Archewell, a media empire and charity foundation.

A spokesman for Meghan and Harry last night said the couple would “fully manage their company”.

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

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He had been at Archewell, where he oversaw day-to-day operations, for less than 18 months.

His surprise exit comes just days before a bombshell six-part documentary about the separation of the couple from the Royal Family – produced by Archewell and streaming giant Netflix – has been released online.

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

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

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

Her surprise exit comes just days before the bombshell six-part documentary about the couple's split from the Royal Family.

Her surprise exit comes just days before the bombshell six-part documentary about the couple’s split from the Royal Family.

Toya Holness, Archewell’s global journalist, parted company with Sussex earlier this year, while Catherine St-Laurent, its chief operating officer and director of Archewell, left in March last year after more than 12 months in the job.

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In a statement, Ashley Hansen, Meghan and Harry’s international press secretary, last night said that Ms Dayani “has been an important part of Archewell and we are grateful for her commitment, dedication and leadership”.

He added: ‘Mrs Dayani was brought in during parental leave to move the company and its projects forward.

‘He continued to shape its vision and future successfully. His transition was planned, with the intention of the Duke and Duchess taking full control of their company.

‘There will be no replacement for this position, and Mrs Dayani fully supports the Duke and Duchess in their new leadership roles, and remains a close friend.’

Catherine St-Laurent

Toya Holness

Catherine St-Laurent and Toya Holness have both split with the Sussexes

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

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

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In 2020, he started a podcast with actress Debra Messing – star of the US sitcom Will & Grace – which featured interviews with well-known social media representatives including Sophia Bush, Hillary Clinton and Jane Fonda.

He played a key role in creating Meghan’s Spotify podcast Archetypes, and he leaves behind Archewell’s biggest success: the Netflix series that is set to dominate the world’s headlines.

Ms Dayani changed her LinkedIn profile this week to indicate that her senior role at Archewell was over. His page now reads: ‘President, Archewell, Full Time Jun 2021 – Dec 2022, 1 year 7 months.’

Although she was able to return to two other roles as an activist, Ms Dayani has not listed a new job title or position, indicating that she has not left Archewell to take up another role.

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