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Deciem Founder Brandon Truaxe Has Been Ousted

Nicola Kilner has been appointed the sole interim ceo.

A Canadian judge ruled Friday morning to oust Deciem founder Brandon Truaxe.

The judge granted an injunction from the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., seeking to have Truaxe removed and co-ceo Nicola Kilner appointed the sole, interim ceo. The injunction followed Truaxe’s Monday Instagram post where he unilaterally shut down the business.

Tuesday, stores started closing, and Wednesday afternoon, Lauder — which owns a 28 percent stake in the business — filed for an injunction in Canada, seeking to oust Truaxe from the company’s board and his ceo position (he referred to himself as “worker,” not ceo). Andrew Ross, executive vice president of strategy and new business development at Lauder, and Pasquale Cusano, are now the company’s only board members.

Deciem is expected to be up and running as soon as possible — that includes reopening the stores.

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The judge’s decision Friday removes Truaxe from his role after months of publicly erratic behavior – much of it, posted on Instagram from his own and Deciem’s branded accounts.

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In the suit, Lauder claimed that Truaxe’s decisions — which included sending an e-mail blast Monday firing Kilner and chief financial officer Anand Khanzode — was “causing irreparable harm to Deciem’s business, and chaos and confusion for Deciem’s employees, customers, consumers, suppliers, landlords and other stakeholders.

“This is not only causing irreparable harm to the Estée Lauder Cosmetics’ investment in Deciem, but it is harming Estée Lauder’s reputation because Estée Lauder has an equity ownership in, and therefore an association with, Deciem,” Lauder added.

On Instagram Monday, Truaxe said, “This is the final post of Deciem, which will shut down all operations until further notice, which is about two months.…Please take me seriously.…Almost everyone at Deciem has been involved in a major criminal activity, which includes financial crimes.” The granting of Lauder’s injunction also means that Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP has been appointed to investigate the alleged financial crimes.

A spokeswoman for Lauder said, “We are pleased with the court’s decision today, and will be working closely with Deciem’s leadership team to support and guide them as they resume operations and continue to provide consumers with the products that they know and love.”