Sunday 24 March 2019

Cult beauty brand The Ordinary isn't closing after all, but the CEO has been ousted after online meltdown

Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

Beauty buffs can breathe a sigh of relief that it's business as usual for The Ordinary.

Last week, Brandon Truaxe, the CEO of Deciem, the umbrella company which runs the budget brand announced on social media channels that he would be closing shop, blaming it on "major criminal activity", prompting confusion and urgency among its millions of fans around the world.

In the minute-long video, Mr Truaxe says, "We will shut down all operations until further notice. We have two months. Please take me seriously.”

The Deciem website was turned into an HTML page and the news was carried around the world. Deciem also produces Nio and Hylamide, which both have cult followings, while The Ordinary, which sells products for as cheap as €5, often accumulates thousands on its waiting lists (25,000 for its best-selling foundation last year) and frequently results in instant sell-outs.

Estée Lauder, which owns 28% of the company, announced they would be beginning legal proceedings against Mr Truaxe and on October 12, a judge ruled that he be removed from his role as CEO. He was also barred from making public statements via the brands' social media channels and removing the authority to hire or fire employees or issue statements on behalf of the company.

The company employs 400 people worldwide.

The papers lodged by Estée Lauder stated that his behaviour was "extremely erratic, disturbing and offensive" over the course of the year. "Unfortunately, Truaxe's conduct has continued to become more erratic and concerning," it said.

Its CFO Stephen Kaplan and co-CEO Nicola Kilner both left the company earlier this year.

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