March 11, 2011, 3:40 PM

Watch retailer Ashford resets its leadership team

President Eli Katz will depart April 1.

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Eli Katz, president of retail watch site Ashford.com, will be leaving the company after nearly four years. Katz led the company’s expansion in e-commerce since 2007.

“Eli helped get us to the point to get the web site stable,” says Simon Zelman, chief financial officer at Ashford, No. 432 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. “The Ashford management team is fully capable of taking Ashford to the next level which is providing the breadth and depth of inventory and to ensure the greatest selection in terms of merchandising, pricing, and value to our customers.”

Katz says he plans to pursue other opportunities in e-commerce. Prior to Ashford, Katz co-founded home improvements e-retail site InsideStore.com and is a self-described start-up junkie, turnaround manager and entrepreneur. I enjoy making something from nothing, and there comes a time when a company is more mature and they are better suited to manage the day to day as opposed to be hyper-start-up,” says Katz.

Ashford which sells modestly priced watches as well as collector’s watches with a six-digit price tag had $679,232 in online sales in 2007 and grew to $15.3 million in 2009. The company has not released 2010 sales figures yet, but the site’s revenue in January 2011 grew 152% over January 2010 and its year-to-date sales have grown 184% over the prior year, says Zelman.

After Katz’s departure, Ashford plans to focus on growing its inventory and possibly expanding into other merchandise categories, according to Zelman.

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