Montreal-born St-Laurent resigns as chief of staff to Harry and Meghan

Montreal-born St-Laurent resigns as chief of staff to Harry and Meghan

St-Laurent plans to “move on to an advisory role” to the royal couple.

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LONDON – She was the philanthropic heavyweight hired to lead the revival of the Sussexes in the United States after ‘Megxit’.

After advising Bill and Melinda Gates, Catherine St-Laurent seemed like the perfect fit as Harry and Meghan’s new chief of staff and CEO of their nonprofit, the Archewell Foundation, when she was chosen. last April. Yet barely 11 months after her appointment, the great hitter of Montreal origin is leaving a position that many thought would hold her for years to come. Notably because she had resigned from a much sought-after position, advising Gates’ social advancement project Pivotal Ventures in the United States to take the new position.

Hence the reason why eyebrows were raised on Monday at the announcement of the mother-of-two’s decision to “move into an advisory role”. She will be replaced by James Holt, the British spokesperson for the Sussexes who has worked for them for five years.

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Although sources close to the couple have insisted that St-Laurent will continue to advise Harry and Meghan through his social impact firm, insiders have suggested the bilingual strategist, who has also worked in Brussels and London and was featured in PR Week 40 under 40 in 2014, “Wanted”. The Daily Telegraph understands that she will no longer be considered a full-time employee and will no longer remain on the payroll.

According to a well-placed insider: “I think there was a feeling that she had to perform a lot of functions for the couple – not all of which were necessarily within her job specifications.

“Catherine is very bubbly and has a great personality. She was the bright hope to lead their organization, so this is surprising news. They don’t have a big team in Los Angeles so it’s definitely going to be a blow.

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It’s the last thing the Sussexes need as they prepare to mark Archewell’s first anniversary with new appointments.

Oscar-nominated producer Ben Browning has just been unveiled as Archewell’s chief content officer to “work closely with Netflix and Spotify,” with whom the couple have signed multi-million dollar deals. last year.

With Holt newly promoted, Browning’s job means the two most powerful people on the Sussexes’ management team are now both white men – though the couple have expressed concerns about the lack of diversity in the family royal.

A statement issued yesterday on behalf of Archewell made it clear that he would also be advised by Invisible Hand “a diverse team led by women” based in New York and led by Genevieve Roth.

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Still, St-Laurent’s ‘transition’ will likely raise questions about why the Sussexes have struggled to retain their staff since their marriage in 2018. While still in the UK, they lost a series of employees, including Meghan’s personal assistant, Melissa Toubati, a second. Anonymous PA, their communications manager Amy Pickerill and their private secretary Samantha Cohen.

Toya Holness, Archewell Global Press Officer, said: “Archewell is extremely pleased to welcome Ben, Genevieve and the Invisible Hand team to the organization. Along with the appointment of James Holt as Executive Director… they join a growing team deeply dedicated to advancing systemic cultural change and supporting compassionate communities around the world.

St-Laurent declined to comment.


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