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Deciem, the parent company of mega-popular, inexpensive skincare line The Ordinary, has been experiencing drama behind the scenes. It started with weeks of speculation about founder Brandon Truaxe’s erratic behavior on the brand’s Instagram page and the discovery of some damning Glassdoor reviews about the company’s work environment. As reported by Racked a few weeks ago, former employees described a chaotic workplace and bullying management. Truaxe continued to post, spending a day insulting commenters, and even writing that he would give raises to the two managers accused of bullying behavior. (This comment has since been deleted.) Things then quieted down, with posts about new product launches and a message from Truaxe about an appearance at the brand’s Covent Garden store in London.
Now Racked has learned that co-CEO Nicola Kilner, who was with the company since almost its inception, is no longer with the company. When asked for confirmation, Kilner said via text message, “Sadly yes. I’m too heartbroken to talk about it at the moment.” (Racked had been tipped that she was let go, but a public relations representative has said this is unconfirmed.)
Racked also received a tip that CFO Stephen Kaplan had resigned. The company would not confirm nor deny this, and had no official statement. An email to Kaplan bounced back with an out-of-office message. He had previously told Racked, “We definitely have grown too quickly, there’s no question, and that’s part of why I was brought on.”
We will update this story as it develops.
Update: February 22nd, 2018, 9:55 a.m.
Founder Brandon Truaxe emailed the following message to Racked:
“I have terminated employment of several people at DECIEM who do not subscribe to my peaceful values. I have also cc’d Estée Lauder’s management on here. I hope you’re well and smiling.”
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Update: February 22nd, 2018, 9:39 a.m.
This article has been updated to clarify that PR would not confirm that Kilner had been let go.