In a conference call, Repass said there was no “specific event” that drove the timing of the announcement.
“Generally speaking, we believe that Geoff is the right person to lead us forward to achieve our goals,” he said, adding he believes the company is stronger following Harris’ leadership, but Eisenberg is the person to help West Marine achieve its fullest potential.
Repass said the board considered several options when looking for a new chief executive, and after serious consideration decided not to conduct an outside search. No other executive changes are foreseen at this time, he said.
Eisenberg has served on the West Marine board for 30 years and has held various senior executive positions in the company from 1976 through 1994. His experience includes store management, serving as catalog and wholesale business manager, chief merchant and marketing officer.
Harris, who joined the company in January 2005, has agreed to assist during the transition through the end of the year.
Harris came to West Marine with 24 years' experience as a CEO, including Gemco, FAO Schwartz, Accolade and The Picture People. He also previously served as president and CEO of the San Francisco 49ers football team.
Watsonville, Calif.-based West Marine, the country’s largest specialty retailer of boating supplies and accessories, has 372 stores in 38 states, Puerto Rico and Canada.