Drug maker Forest Laboratories, Inc. (FRX: Quote) Thursday said Howard Solomon would retire as Chief Executive Officer and President, effective December 31, after serving the company for nearly 50 years.
Solomon is expected to remain as Chairman through the 2014 Annual General Meeting, when another chairman will be elected.
He will retain the title of Chairman Emeritus after the 2014 AGM and has agreed to serve as Senior Advisor to the company after his retirement as CEO and President. Solomon has served as CEO since 1977, Chairman since 1998 and President since 2010.
Solomon began his career as an attorney at leading law firms in New York. He joined Forest in 1964 as a director and secretary of the Board, while serving as outside counsel for the company. He became CEO of Forest in 1977 and Chairman in 1998.
Under Howard's leadership, the company evolved from a small-scale producer of vitamin pills into an innovative and fully integrated pharmaceutical company with a market capitalization of over $10 billion.
Kenneth Goodman, Presiding Independent Director, said, "On behalf of the Board and the entire company, we would like to express our appreciation for Howard's dedication, strategic vision and immeasurable contributions to Forest and its shareholders for nearly 50 years, 36 of those years as CEO.''
An independent committee of Forest's Board has been engaged in a succession planning process, including evaluating candidates from within the company as well as outside. With Solomon's retirement announcement, the Board expects to name a successor before the end of the year. The committee is being assisted by Spencer Stuart, a leading executive search firm.
FRX closed at $37.51 on Wednesday.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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