Family-owned Swiss watch firm Audemars Piguet has announced that its Board of Directors has reached an agreement with Philippe Merk, the company’s chief executive officer, to terminate their collaboration, citing “differences in company strategy.” The company also announced that it is promoting Francois-Henry Bennahmias to the position of general manager ad interim. Bennahmias, 48,is currently based in New York City. He 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 officer of Audemars Piguet North America, Inc. The company credits Bennahmias with developing the brand with great success across the Atlantic. In a statement, the members of Audemars Piguet’s board thanked Merk, who became CEO in January of 2009, for his work and wished him well in his future endeavors, and wished Bennahmias success in his new role at the company.