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Forest Labs names Saunders as CEO
September 10th, 2013
NEW YORK – A new chief executive officer is set to take the helm next month at Forest Laboratories Inc.
The pharmaceutical company said Tuesday that Brenton Saunders, the former CEO of Bausch + Lomb and a Forest director since August 2011, will become Forest's president and CEO starting Oct. 1.
The 43-year-old Saunders succeeds Howard Solomon, who will remain nonexecutive chairman until the company's 2014 annual shareholders meeting, where he is expected to become board chairman.
"Forest is an outstanding company with outstanding people, products and prospects. It is an honor to be asked to take over the role as CEO and president, and I look forward to getting started immediately," Saunders said in a statement. "I know that the board's search committee has been very deliberate and thoughtful in its process to find a leader to succeed Howard Solomon, who is an industry icon and who has created enormous value for patients and shareholders over many years. I have deep admiration for him and look forward to his continued counsel as we take Forest into the future."
Saunders is currently chairman of the Forest board's compensation committee and is a member of its compliance committee and will step down from those roles when he becomes president and CEO.
As CEO of Bausch + Lomb from 2010 to August, Saunders led a transformation of that company into a global competitor in more than 100 markets. From 2003 to 2009, he held various senior leadership positions at Schering-Plough Corp., including as president of global consumer health care and a member of the executive management team. While at Schering-Plough, he also served as integration head for the company's 2007 acquisition of Organon BioSciences and 2009 merger with Merck & Co.
"I am very pleased with the search committee and board's selection of Brent Saunders as our next CEO," Solomon stated. "As a director on the Forest board for over two years, Brent has developed a deep understanding of our business and has proven himself to be an outstanding strategic and creative thinker. Without question, he is an extremely talented executive with an ideal combination of skills, demonstrated leadership ability, and many years of domestic and international experience in the health care industry. He is ready to be Forest's CEO now, and I believe it is in the best interests of the company to begin the transition immediately. I believe it is time to turn over the reins, and I look forward to continuing as nonexecutive chairman and to helping ensure the most seamless transition possible."