The chief executive of UK firm Coca‑Cola HBC, one of the largest bottlers for Coca-Cola products, has died.

Dimitris Lois passed away on Monday, just weeks after announcing that he was to take a medical leave of absence to undergo treatment for an unnamed condition. On September 15 he said he expected to be away for four months and would remain involved in the business.

Anastassis David, chairman of Coca-Cola HBC, said: “We are deeply saddened by the news of Dimitris's death. It was a great privilege to know him personally and to work alongside him for so many years.”

Mr Lois joined the company in 2007 and was appointed chief operating officer in 2009 before moving to the role of chief executive two years later.

Michalis Imellos, who had been the firm’s finance director, will continue in the role of acting chief executive while a permanent successor is found. The company said further announcements would be made in due course.

Coca-Cola HBC bottles around 50 billion drinks each year for the Coca-Cola Company, including Coke, Fanta, Sprite and a range of juices and waters.