Coca-Cola bottling company's chief executive dies

Coca-Cola HBC's chief executive officer Dimitris Lois passed away on Monday. Reuters

The chief executive officer of London-listed firm Coca‑Cola HBC, one of the major European bottlers for the multinational soft drinks company's products, has died.

In a statement, Coca-Cola HBC said Dimitris Lois passed away late on Monday (2 October). While no cause of death was revealed, the company added it would make further announcements in due course.

An earlier announcement on 15 September said Lois was expected to be away for four months on medical leave, but would continue to remain involved in business operations.

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However, the news of his death in a matter of weeks has stunned the company.

Anastassis David, chairman of the board of directors of Coca‑Cola HBC said: "We are deeply saddened by the news of Dimitris' death.

"It was a great privilege to know him personally and to work alongside him for so many years. Dimitris will always be remembered for his dedication to our people and for the values he stood for."

Lois joined the company in 2007 and was appointed chief operating officer in 2009. He was promoted to the CEO's chair in 2011.

Coca-Cola HBC's finance director Michalis Imellos will continue in the role of acting chief executive until a permanent successor is found.

The company bottles around 50 billion soft drinks each year for Coca-Cola along with a range of juices and waters. According to its latest trading update, in August, headline revenue rose by 5.6% in the first half of the current financial year to €3.2bn (£2.84bn).

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