Brandon Truaxe, founder of the Canadian beauty company Deciem, has reportedly died at the age of 40, according to a company-wide email.
“I can’t believe I am typing these words. Brandon has passed away over the weekend,” wrote acting CEO Nicola Kilner in an email to employees, according to Vox.
“All offices, warehouses, factories and stores please close today and 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 continued.
The email did not include the cause of death. VICE reached out to Deciem but did not immediately hear back.
Trauxe rose to fame as founder of Deciem, which operates 10 skincare brands, including the wildly popular The Ordinary, an affordable brand that sells skincare products for under $10.
Over the weekend, he made a series of strange Instagram posts from his condo in Toronto, revealing his own address and claiming that he’d been drinking tequila.
Last year was a turbulent year for both Trauxe and Deciem, after he began posting erratic messages on the company’s Instagram account, including that the company should be shut down because of “financial crimes” happening within the company.
Truaxe was ousted from his role as CEO by a judge in October, after Estee Lauder, which holds a one third stake in the company, made a court application for him to be removed, citing the hundreds of “outrageous, disturbing, defamatory, and/or offensive posts” that they said harmed Deciem’s business and reputation.
In December, the Financial Post reported that Truaxe had been hospitalized for mental illness—Truaxe denied in the story that he had any mental illness, although he admitted to using drugs, including mushrooms and crystal meth.
Follow Tamara on Twitter.