Audemars Piguet Holdings appointed Francois-Henry Bennahmias to the interim position of general manager to replace Philippe Merk, who has abruptly vacated the role as chief executive. According to a board statement, Bennahmias, 48, began his career at Audemars Piguet in 1996 and from 1997 he was assistant marketing and sales manager for Asia-Pacific and Europe. In 1999 he was promoted to president and chief executive of Audemars Piguet North America Inc. in New York.
Merk and the board terminated their agreement ''due to differences in company strategy,'' according to the statement today. ''The board appreciates the work accomplished these past years and wishes Mr. Merk continued success in his future endeavors.''