Shock and sadness as Deciem Founder Brandon Truaxe is reported dead

Brandon Truaxe, the former CEO and founder of skin care company Deciem, has died at the age of 40.

An email sent to staff by Acting CEO Nicola Kilner, stated, “I can’t believe I am typing these words. Brandon has passed away over the weekend. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to how I, and how I know many of you will be feeling.

All offices, warehouses, factories and stores please close today and take the time to cry with sadness, smile at the good times we had, reflect on what his genius built and hug your loved ones that little harder.

We are all in disbelief and shock but I will be in touch again very soon.

I love you all incredibly much, as did he.”

Deciem posted the following message on its Instagram @deciem:

“Brandon, our founder and friend, you touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible. Thank you for every laugh, every learning and every moment of your genius. Whilst we can’t imagine a world without you, we promise to take care of each other and will work hard to continue your vision. May you finally be at peace. Love, (forever) your DECIEM.”

Often called “genius” by colleagues and fans, Truaxe founded “The Abnormal Beauty Company” in 2013. Among its many lines is also The Ordinary, which gained a cult following of its own thanks to its low prices and clinical formulations.

But despite the great success of the company, Truaxe had become one of the most controversial figures in our industry. He often posted bizarre and rambling announcements and videos on Instagram. And, in October 2018, he alleged that “financial crimes” had been committed at the company and declared that Deciem would be shutting down. He also sent letters to The Estée Lauder Companies –a minority investor in the company, which executives found threatening. They responded by taking legal action. Truaxe was ousted as CEO and issued a restraining order. His former Co-CEO Nicola Kilner –whom he had fired, was then reinstated as Acting CEO.

The Estée Lauder Companies issued this statement, “Brandon Truaxe was a true genius, and we are incredibly saddened by the news of his passing. As the visionary behind Deciem, he positively impacted millions of people around the world with his creativity, brilliance and innovation. This is a profound loss for us all, and our hearts are with Nicola Kilner and the entire Deciem family.”

The cause of Truaxe’s death was unknown at press time, however, a story published by Canada’s Financial Post in December reported that he had struggled with drug use and had been hospitalized multiple times for mental health issues.

Christine Schott Ledes
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