Deciem and Indeed Labs lead tributes to founder Brandon Truaxe, who died aged 40

By Sarah Parsons 21-Jan-2019

The serial skin care entrepreneur is best known for launching cult Canadian brand The Ordinary

Brandon Truaxe, founder and former CEO of skin care company Deciem, has died at the age of 40.

The Iran-born serial entrepreneur is best known for creating Canada-based cosmetics brand The Ordinary, which has been celebrated for its high-performance products at affordable prices.

A former computer scientist, Truaxe founded luxury skin care brand Euoko in 2002 with partner Julio Torres.

After selling that brand in 2011, he launched Indeed Labs, best known for its Nanoblur collection, the following year.

Truaxe left Indeed Labs with “a lot of anger”, he told Cosmetics Business.

However, his time with the affordable science-driven Indeed Labs was instrumental in the formation of Deciem in 2013.

“A combination of passion for bringing credibility to the functional beauty business and the revenge overly due to Indeed Labs led to the formation of Deciem,” he said in 2016.

Deciem now has 42 stores worldwide and sells more than one product every second. Its success attracted the attention of beauty giant Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), who became a 27% stakeholder in 2017.

“Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible,” Deciem announced via Instagram.

“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.”

via Instagram / @deciem

Deciem CEO Nicola Kilner wrote an email to staff saying that all of the company’s offices, warehouses, factories and stores would close on Monday to honour his memory, Vox reported.

“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,” she wrote.

Indeed Labs added: "We are incredibly saddened by the news of Brandon’s passing.

"He was a brilliant mind and passionate entrepreneur and we feel privileged that he was a part of our journey at Indeed Labs.

"Our love and support goes out to his family and friends in life and work.”

Tributes have been paid on social media to the “creative genius” from the beauty industry and consumers.

“Three years ago Brandon Truaxe gave me the opportunity to work on his baby, Deciem, and be a part of the team that he held so close to his heart and called family,” a former employee wrote.

“His belief and trust in me was a big factor in everything I've accomplished since then and I'll miss him dearly.”

Truaxe and Kilner

Vanessa Craft, Editor of Elle Canada, added: “A few years ago, I spent an afternoon interviewing Deciem's Brandon Truaxe.

“It felt like I was in the presence of a genius with a mind running too fast for anyone to keep up with. RIP.”

It has been a turbulent year for Deciem and Truaxe. Despite the company’s financial success, the Toronto-headquartered firm garnered negative publicity following a number of controversial social media posts and business decisions from Truaxe.

In October, ELC sought legal action after Truaxe ordered that all of the Deciem’s operations would close with immediate effect due to “financial crimes”.

The Ontario judge sided with the cosmetics giant to oust Truaxe from the board and appoint co-CEO Kilner as the sole leader.

“Brandon Truaxe was a true genius, and we are incredibly saddened by the news of his passing,” ELC stated.

“As the visionary behind Deciem, he positively impacted millions of people around the world with his creativity, brilliance and innovation.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

“This is a profound loss for us all, and our hearts are with Nicola Kilner and the entire Deciem family.”