Ontario court strips Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe of job

An Ontario judge, Superior Court Judge Michael Penny, sided with Deciem minority investor Estée Lauder and stripped founder Brandon Truaxe of his role as the firm's co-chief executive, after he decided to shut Deciem stores without notice.

Brandon Truaxe - Deciem

On October 11, Estée Lauder moved the court to have Truaxe removed from his role at Deciem and be replaced by the firm's co-CEO Nicola Kilner on an interim basis.

Estée Lauder also requested that Truaxe be removed from Deciem's board of directors which would bar him from hiring and firing employees and from posting on the brand’s social media, two things his behaviour concerning had been challenged.

Deciem, best known for its skincare brand The Ordinary, saw Truaxe close its stores without warning or explanation, which sparked an online frenzy to buy products online.

This was the final straw for Estée Lauder, which bought a stake in the brand in 2017. Truaxe also alleged that the business was involved in criminal activity and the Ontario judge also agreed to Estée Lauder’s request to have PricewaterhouseCoopers investigate Truaxe’s claims.

After Truaxe started regularly posting on Deciem’s social media in January 2018, his behaviour concerned some fans as it was often personal and strange. After using the platform to attack several online influencers, Truaxe also fired and later re-hired Kilner and the company’s chief financial officer also resigned.

Following this, Truaxe posted a video on Instagram stating that Deciem stores would be shut for the foreseeable future and that almost everyone at the business was involved in criminal activity, although he gave no specifics.

Deciem was founded in Toronto 2013 and has the tagline “the abnormal beauty company”.

The brand retails online and also has storefronts in the Canada, the U.S., UK, Australia, and South Korea. One of the brand’s lines The Ordinary has been considered as one of the breakout skincare brands from the last few years helped in part by a strong social media buzz. The business reported $300 million in projected sales this year.

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