In a surprise shakeup of leadership at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport, the airport commission on Thursday accepted the resignation of airport director Cindi Martin and quickly appointed deputy airport director Geoff Freeman to replace her.

Commission chairman Robert Rosenbaum announced at the commission’s regular meeting that Ms. Martin planned to “retire” effective August 30, about 15 months after she started work at the airport.

“Her reasons for retiring are entirely personal and I ask everyone to respect her privacy. Know that it has nothing to do with the airport. This is a personal matter for her,” Mr. Rosenbaum said.

He said he had advised the other commissioners of her plans over the last several days.

Ms. Martin’s resignation was unanimously approved by the commissioners. After the vote, each airport commissioner thanked Ms. Martin for her time working at the airport before moving on to the promotion of Mr. Freeman, which was unanimously approved as well.

Mr. Freeman will be paid an annual salary of $135,000, Mr. Rosenbaum said.

The carefully orchestrated change of command came in contrast to last year’s vote to offer the job to Ms. Martin.

She and Mr. Freeman were among four finalists selected by New York-based ADK Executive Search to replace former director Ann Richart, who did not seek renewal of her three-year contract.

At a meeting last May, airport commissioners were divided 4-2 on who should get the nod. Following the vote to hire Ms. Martin, Commissioner Clarence A. (Trip) Barnes 3rd — who had backed Mr. Freeman — abruptly left the meeting and resigned from the commission in protest of her selection.

“He was the best candidate,” Mr. Barnes told the Gazette later, referring to Mr. Freeman. “A local guy who knows all of the players . . . knows where the problems are . . . I finally said if I can’t get this guy in there, why am I banging my head against the wall?”

Ms. Martin served for 10 years as director of Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Mont., before retiring in 2016. She was working as a contractor for the American Association of Airport Executives when she was hired for the Vineyard job.

She was given a three-year contract at an annual salary of $165,000 with benefits that included a $2,000 monthly housing stipend, Mr. Rosenbaum said at the time. She began work June 10.

Mr. Freeman has been employed at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport since 1994 and has worked in the airline industry since 1987. He has been deputy director for four years.

According to a brief biography on the airport website, he is a captain with the Edgartown fire department and has completed college level work at Westfield State College, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and is enrolled in AAAE/ACI-NA aviation programs.

In a press release that went out immediately after the meeting Thursday, Mr. Rosenbaum said he has known Mr. Freeman for 20 years and has "great respect for his abilities and intelligence. He is very knowledgeable about all aspects of the airport’s operations as well as the Island — having lived here his entire life.”

Both Ms. Martin and Mr. Freeman were present at the meeting, which was held by video conference. Commissioners were fulsome in their praise of both.

Mr. Rosenbaum called Ms. Martin “truly the consummate professional. She has put the airport on a great path forward moving forward.”

Commissioner Kristen Zern said when Mr. Freeman applied for the airport director job last year, commissioners thought “he wasn’t quite ready and Cindi was magnificent.”

“I think that now he is definitely ready to take on this challenge. I think Cindi has finished her important task to make that possible,” she said.

Commissioners Don Ogilvie, Geoff Wheeler and Richard Knabel agreed.

“He has he has earned it in every way, shape and fashion,” said Mr. Ogilvie.

“I think it’s a great choice,” Mr. Wheeler added. “I have nothing but confidence in him.”

Mr. Rosenbaum said commissioners will not immediately fill Mr. Freeman’s deputy position.

“The recommendation is not to bring on a replacement for Geoff in the number two slot. That is something we will take a look at. It would be my suggestion to, down the line, see where we are financially and traffic-wise to determine if and when that makes sense to bring in a number two person,” he said.