The announcement was made May 29.
During Eich's eight-year tenure at the Geffen Playhouse, he worked in partnership with producing director Gilbert Cates and artistic director Randall Arney to oversee the $20 million renovation of the theatre as well as guide the management of the theatre through award-winning productions including Looking for Normal, All My Sons, George Gershwin Alone and The Quality of Life.
"My eight years at the Geffen Playhouse have been some of the most challenging and rewarding of my career," Eich stated. "I have been fortunate to guide a talented staff of professionals through one of the most exciting growth periods in the theatre's short history. I wish the playhouse the greatest success throughout its future."
From 1979 to 1995 Eich was managing director of Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he produced over 125 productions including the 1990 Tony Award-winning Best Play The Grapes of Wrath. After Steppenwolf, Eich became an independent producer working on Steve Martin's award-winning Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Paul Simon's musical The Capeman. He also produced various concerts at Carnegie Hall.
"Steve's contribution to the Geffen Playhouse and theatre in Los Angeles has been extraordinary," stated producing director Gilbert Cates. "He will be missed." Cates and the Geffen Playhouse board of directors, helmed by chairman Frank Mancuso, will institute a comprehensive search to fill the position.
The Geffen Playhouse — named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theatre — opened in 1995. "Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its eclectic mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and musicals, the Geffen continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition."