Domino's Pizza chief finance officer David Bauernfeind died in an apparent drowning tragedy in Mauritius.
The 51-year-old executive was enjoying a Christmas break with his family when his body was discovered in a pond near Belle-Mare on Boxing Day.
He snorkeled and is believed to have encountered difficulties in strong currents.
The company, which he joined more than a year ago from the Connect Group, confirmed that local police were treating the death as drowning, although an investigation is known to be underway.
"Domino's Pizza Group is deeply saddened to announce that our chief financial officer, David Bauernfeind, died in a tragic accident on Thursday, December 26 while on vacation with his family," the document said.
David Wild, its chief executive, said: "We are all deeply shocked and saddened by this tragic news.
Domino & # 39; s Pizza said in October that it faced a challenging year & # 39;
"On behalf of our advice, our colleagues and franchisees, we send our heartfelt condolences to David's wife, Nicolette and daughter Ornella, as well as their family and friends.
"David was greatly appreciated and deeply respected for his dedication and keen intelligence among Domino's colleagues.
"He was a force for good within business and will be sorely missed."
Very sad, I worked for David for almost 20 years. A nice guy and a great boss. Deep condolences.
– Chris Hannan (@ hannancm1978) December 28, 2019
Bauernfeind's death means that everything will change at the top of the company in the near future.
That's because Wild announced plans in the summer to retire from business.
The group, which is separated from the American operation of the same name, has had a difficult year.
It announced in October that it should focus on the UK's main market as its mainland stores weighed on profitability and would be sold.
Domino's is also locked in a damaging dispute with franchisees.
They have been demanding a larger share of profits in exchange for opening new stores – delaying the company's ambitions for expansion.