Brandon Truaxe, the founder of skincare company Deciem whose 2018 was marked by bizarre social media posts and an eventual ouster as CEO, has died. Employees of the company, which manufactures the cult skincare brand The Ordinary, were informed Monday morning in an email, as first reported by Fashionista and confirmed by Vox.
Nicola Kilner, Deciem’s acting CEO, sent the following email to employees, per Vox:
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.
In October, a judge granted minority stakeholder Estee Lauder an injunction to oust Truaxe as CEO, and later that month Truaxe was prohibited from making contact with two top Estee Lauder officials, including barring him from their homes and offices.
Truaxe was 40. The cause of death has not been disclosed. This post will be updated.
Update, 1/22/19, 10:26 a.m.: The National Post reports that while there is no official cause of death, “it is understood he fell from a condominium building near Toronto’s downtown. He had frequently been hospitalized for mental illness over the last year, twice in the U.K. and once in Canada. He has denied he was mentally ill.”
Riyadh Swedaan, Truaxe’s coworker and longtime boyfriend, told the National Post that he had recently been abusing crystal meth, and had not recently been under psychiatric care. Swedaan told the National Post that “I don’t think he jumped. I think he fell.”
“He was an amazing person,” Swedaan also told the Post. “Very sensitive.” Read the National Post’s full report here.