The chief operating officer of Toronto beauty brand Deciem says the company's founder Brandon Truaxe has died.

In an email to The Canadian Press, Stephen Kaplan confirmed that 40-year-old Truaxe, who created the company that is known for selling products at more affordable prices than other luxury brands in 2013, died over the weekend. He did not disclose the cause of death.

Truaxe's relationship with Deciem had become strained in recent months after he closed its roughly 30 stores, citing alleged employee involvement in a "major criminal activity."

In two Oct. court proceedings prompted by Deciem investor Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Truaxe was removed as the company's chief executive officer and ordered to stay away from Deciem stores and employees.

Prior to Deciem, he studied computer programming and founded skin treatment companies Euoko Inc. and Indeed Laboratories, software development firm Schematte Corporation and nutritional supplements company Organic Senses Ltd.

Deciem was by far his biggest success, reportedly earning $300 million last year and catching the attention of celebrities including Kim Kardashian West.