It’s been anything but an ordinary week for Deciem, the self-proclaimed ‘Abnormal Beauty Company’ that created The Ordinary skincare line.
On Monday October 8, Deciem CEO Brandon Truaxe posted a video on Instagram demanding that the company “shut down all operations until further notice…” as “almost everyone has been involved in a major criminal activity”.
Immediately after the post, the company’s website was replaced with a red screen and its 29 stores around the world, including three in Australia, began closing down.
Estee Lauder, which bought a 28 percent share in Deciem in July last year, then began legal action to have Truaxe removed from his role as CEO and replaced with co-CEO Nicola Kilner.
In its filing to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Estée Lauder said: “Truaxe has exhibited extremely erratic, disturbing and offensive behavior in his role as president and chief executive officer over the course of this year…Unfortunately, Truaxe’s conduct has continued to become more erratic and concerning.”
On Friday October 12, judge Michael Penny ruled that Truaxe should be removed from his role immediately.
“Urgent relief is necessary in order to save this business,” he said.
“It appears that Mr Truaxe’s behaviour is not his normal behaviour and he may be suffering from some type of psychiatric problem.”
Estee Lauder welcomed the court’s decision saying it “reinforces the Estée Lauder Companies’ strong commitment to Deciem and its employees.
“We are confident that Deciem will continue to provide its consumers with the incredible products that they know and love. As a minority investor, we strongly support Nicola Kilner, the Deciem leadership team and its employees as they continue to run their business.”
With Kilner now at the helm, Deciem has officially reopened the business, its website and all its stores in the US, Canada, UK, Netherlands South Korea, Mexico and Australia.
The erratic week at Deciem follows a year of unusual behaviour by Truaxe which includes his firing of Kilner in February before reinstating her just three months later.
Founded in 2013 by Truaxe, Deciem produces 10 skin and hair care brands – NIOD, Hylamide, Chemistry Brand, The Ordinary, Stemm, Fountain, HIF, Ab Crew, Abnormally and The Ordinary.
Renowned for offering highly effective products with ingredients such as Retinol and Vitamin C at very affordable prices, The Ordinary has developed a cult following of millennials and celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Nigella Lawson seeking “functional beauty grounded in science”.
Deciem launched into Australia in late 2015 in Priceline stores and then expanded into Myer stores, ry.com.au and adorebeauty.com.au before opening its Deciem The Abnormal Beauty Company stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.
Although Deciem is officially back to business as usual, the instagram account which started this week’s erratic chain of events remains out of action.