Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe dead at 40

Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Canadian skin care company Deciem, has died.

Truaxe was controversial founder of company behind The Ordinary skin care line

Two sources have confirmed that Brandon Truaxe, the founder of skin care company Deciem, has died. (Bill Arnold/CBC)

Brandon Truaxe, the controversial and enigmatic founder of Deciem, the upstart Canadian company behind the hugely popular The Ordinary skin care line, has died.

Two sources told CBC News Monday that Truaxe died over the weekend. A company memo informed employees of the news Monday morning.
A sign in the window of an Abnormal Beauty Co. store says it is closed unexpectedly on Monday. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

Toronto Police Services told CBC News they were called to a residence at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday. "At this time, it is a non-criminal and non-suspicious investigation," Constable Jenifferjit Sidhu said.

Truaxe founded Deciem in 2013, dubbing it The Abnormal Beauty company.

It quickly became one of the most disruptive in the cosmetic industry, mainly because of its low prices, skyrocketing sales, and customer loyalty.

Truaxe was also known for outlandish social media posts that prompted some to question if they were all a marketing stunt.

In October, Truaxe was ousted as chief executive of Deciem after the company's largest shareholder, Estée Lauder, sought an injunction in an Ontario court.

That move came after an Instagram post by Truaxe saying all stores would be closed due to what he said was widespread criminal activity within the company.

In its court filing, Estée Lauder cited "outrageous, disturbing, and/or defamatory posts on Deciem's social media accounts."

Police were parked outside Brandon Truaxe's condo in Toronto on Monday. (Aaron Saltzman/CBC)

Truaxe did not contest the injunction and was removed as CEO.

Since then, his Instagram account has featured a series of erratic video posts, including some that appear to have been taken at some point over this past weekend in which he gave the address of his Toronto condo.

Stores and the head office were closed Monday in what the company said was a tribute to a great founder. (Oliver Walters/CBC)

Deciem paid tribute to its founder on the company's corporate Instagram account on Monday

It said: "Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible.

"Thank you for every laugh, every learning and every moment of your genius. 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. Love, (forever) your DECIEM."


Listen to more about the history of Brandon Truaxe and Deciem in this interview with Aaron Saltzman on the CBC podcast Front Burner on the player below

Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Canadian skincare company Deciem, has died after a year-long public unravelling. He built 'The Abnormal Beauty Company' into a worldwide brand through a combination of radical pricing and social media marketing. But his increasingly erratic behaviour, documented on his company's Instagram account, ultimately cost him his position as CEO. Senior business reporter Aaron Saltzman takes us inside Truaxe's story. 28:43

With files from The Canadian Press