Meet Deciem’s new CEO – Nicola Kilner

Deciem has a new CEO, Nicola Kilner got the job she has dreamt about for so long, because being a co-ceo just sucks…


Last week was quite a week for Deciem. Bizarre Instagram posts by the founder of Deciem Brandon Truaxe has led to the court and got him fired, from his own company by Estée Lauder. And it all happend within a week.

Who is Nicola Kilner?

Kilner started very young in the beauty industry. She was just 18 years old, while a business-management student at Nottingham Trent University, she was sponsored in a work program by the major UK pharmacy chain Boots, where she became one of the company’s youngest buyers. Six years ago, she met Truaxe, who was working for Indeed Labs at the time; Kilner was his point person for the launch of their products on Boots’ shelves. She loved his enthusiasm and ideas. The two clicked instantly. When Truaxe launched Deciem in 2013, he quickly recruited the 24-year-old to be his brand director. Deciem, derived from the Latin word for 10, would be a parent company to a diverse array of smaller beauty brands, many specializing in facial serums. Truaxe, a former computer scientist, developed a simple premise: He would take a highly analytical approach to skin care and sell time-tested ingredients at hugely reduced margins. No longer would a customer pay $80 for a generic ingredient (retinol, for example) that cost a couple of dollars to produce. Everything would be made in-house. A bit presciently, Truaxe gave Deciem the tagline “The Abnormal Beauty Company.”

Kilner bought into his vision entirely: “My mum was like, ‘Why are you leaving a steady job at a good retailer?’ But sometimes you have to follow your heart. Even with everything that’s happened, it’s still the best decision of my life.” As brand director, she spent three weeks of every month at Deciem’s Toronto headquarters working on every aspect of the business. And within six months, Truaxe named her co-CEO.

Nicola Kilner was the co-ceo at Deciem and got fired earlier this year by Truaxe. After a while she got re-hired and was responsible for a lot of management decisions. A few days ago Estée Lauder made her the new CEO.
She also recruited, trained, and offered daily guidance to employees. Kilner and Truaxe are best friends for 5 year. In a recent interview Kilner admits about Truaxe “He is a genius, one whose madness was directly responsible for the monumental success of the business.”

Kilner owns shares in the company. Her mom even works part-time at one of Deciem’s factories and seemed loyal to Truaxe. She has worked day and night with Tuaxe to build the brand.

Kilner is married with Sean Reddington and has no kids.

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