First, there were the intimate and sometimes even cruel Instagram posts and replies from CEO Brandon Truaxe of the trendy skin care company Deciem. Then, it was reported that Truaxe had fired the company’s co-CEO Nicola Kilner and the CFO Stephen Kaplan was also out of the picture.

Deciem is the parent company of several different cult skin care brands, including Stemm, Hylamide, and the wildly popular The Ordinary. Estée Lauder invested in the company last year, the brand recently began selling in Sephora, and WWD reported that Deciem made $120 million to $150 million in retail sales in 2017. And now a new report from Racked, largely sourced from emails Truaxe himself casually forwarded to the outlet, depicts the company as chaotic behind the scenes despite its success.

Kilner was reportedly fired in part, according to Racked, due to a conversation about Truaxe’s mental health that she had with Deciem’s director of operations Shamin Mohamed Jr. When Truaxe heard about the conversation he began to question her loyalty, siding with Mohamed, and decided to fire her.

“Hiring people is difficult. Firing them is very difficult, but when you have no choice, you have no choice,” Truaxe told Racked. “Ultimately, it doesn’t affect me. The only thing that matters is that the consumers are buying the product.” Kaplan then resigned in response to Kilner’s firing, writing in an email to Truaxe, “I see no reason for my continued presence at Deciem.”

The CEO also reportedly cut ties with the lip care line Esho, the brand of London doctor Dr. Tijion Esho, though the line is still listed on Deciem’s site. Truaxe posted this news publicly on Instagram (now deleted), explaining to Esho in an email that he had to do it publicly because his partners wouldn’t have allowed him to give back the trademarks, a move that Esho writes left him “frustrated and upset,” according to Racked.


Overall, Truaxe’s reign of the company seems messy as hell. But considering he seems to be a completely open book, sharing petty comments about former employees and unessecary selfies on the company’s Instagram account, I also can’t look away!