Prestige watch retailer Tourneau LLC said its chief executive officer Howard R. Levitt will step down from his post at yearend.

This story first appeared in the May 22, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Levitt, who has been with the firm for 18 years, will continue to serve on the board. He will remain acting ceo until a successor is named.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of growing the company into a leader in fine watch retailing,” said Levitt. “We have a great team in place and the company is well positioned for the future.”

Robert J. Wexler, Tourneau’s chairman, said Levitt “has been instrumental in the company’s growth and we look forward to his continued participation on the board.”

Tourneau was established in 1900 and the luxury watch retail chain sells myriad brands, such as Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, Tag Heuer and its own eponymous brand in its more than 30 stores. In 2006, Green Equity Investors IV LP, an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners LP, acquired Tourneau for $300 million. Investors then included members of the Wexler family, who have owned the chain since the late Seventies.