Brandon Truaxe, the founder and former CEO of cosmetic skincare company Deciem, which is behind the cult brand The Ordinary, has died at 40.
The cause of death has not yet been released. Truaxe was best known for setting up Canada-based skincare brand The Ordinary, which sells “luxury” products at affordable prices and has been endorsed by celebrities including Kim Kardashian West.
“Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible,” Deciem said in a post on Instagram. “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.”
Deciem’s acting CEO Nicola Kilner confirmed the death in an email to staff, according to Vox, saying Truaxe died 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.”
Kilner added, “We are all in disbelief and shock.”
His death comes not long after he was removed from his role at the company after months of erratic online behaviour.
Truaxe made headlines last year for his bizarre behavior on social media. In a video he posted in October, he said he was shutting down operations until further notice.
“Please take me seriously,” he said at the time. “Almost everyone at Deciem has been involved in a major criminal activity, which includes financial crimes and much other. You have no idea what a soldier I have been for 13 years.”
He also tagged Deciem investor Estée Lauder Companies Inc in the post, forcing the company to release a statement distancing itself Truaxe and his brand. He was removed from his role shortly later and Estée Lauder sued him.
Truaxe created Deciem, known as “the Abnormal Beauty Company”, in 2013, growing the business to more than 10 beauty brands. The Ordinary launched in 2016 and became known for stripping back unnecessary scent and packaging, and marketing “clinical formulations with integrity” – active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. The products are typically less than $10.
A spokesperson for Estée Lauder said in a 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.”
Deciem did not immediately respond to a request for comment.