Forest Laboratories Names Brent Saunders CEO and President
Former Bausch + Lomb CEO Has Significant Healthcare Experience and an Outstanding Track Record of Delivering Growth; Has Served as Forest Director Since 2011
Howard Solomon to Serve as Chairman to 2014 AMS, at Which Time Brent Saunders is Expected to be Elected Chairman
Public Company Information:
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Forest Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE:FRX) today announced that Brenton L. Saunders, 43, the former Chief Executive Officer of Bausch + Lomb, has been appointed Forest’s Chief Executive Officer and President, effective October 1, 2013. Mr. Saunders, who will succeed Howard Solomon, has served as a Forest director since August 2011. He is currently Chairman of the Board’s Compensation Committee and is a member of its Compliance Committee and will step down from those roles on becoming CEO and President. As previously announced, Mr. Solomon will remain non-executive Chairman of the Board through the Company’s 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (AMS). Mr. Saunders is expected to also become Chairman of the Board at that time.
In addition to his service as a Forest director, Mr. Saunders served as Chief Executive Officer of Bausch + Lomb from 2010 to August, 2013, where he led a transformation of that company into a global competitor in more than 100 markets. From 2003-2009, Mr. Saunders held a number of senior leadership positions at Schering-Plough Corporation, 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 its 2007 acquisition of Organon BioSciences and the Company’s 2009 merger with Merck & Company. Prior to Schering-Plough, he was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and, before that, he served as Senior Vice President, Compliance, Legal and Regulatory at Homecare Corporation of America. From 1992-1997, he held several positions at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, finishing his career there as Chief Compliance Officer. Mr. Saunders holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and East Asian Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, and a JD and MBA from Temple University.
Mr. Saunders serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh. He also serves on the boards of ElectroCore LLC and the Overlook Hospital Foundation. He is also the former Chairman of the New York chapter of the American Heart Association. He is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Upstate New York Regional Advisory Board, PhRMA and The Business Council.
Kenneth E. Goodman, Presiding Independent Director and a member of the committee of independent directors overseeing succession planning, said, “We have long thought Brent would be an ideal CEO to succeed Howard when the time came. Over the course of our announced search and rigorous board process, during which we seriously evaluated a number of excellent candidates, this belief became crystal clear. We are delighted that, following the recent sale of Bausch + Lomb, Brent became available at just the right time. He is strategic, innovative, experienced and the right leader for Forest today. We are confident he will drive growth and even greater success for the Company, its shareholders and our employees.”
Mr. Saunders said, “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. 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.”
Commenting on the announcement, Mr. Solomon, said, “I am very pleased with the search committee and Board's selection of Brent Saunders as our next CEO. 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 healthcare 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 non-executive chairman and to helping ensure the most seamless transition possible.”
Mr. Goodman added, “On behalf of the Board, the search committee, the Company and the entire Forest family, we are very grateful to Howard for his countless contributions to Forest and its shareholders for nearly 50 years. His vision laid the foundation for this extraordinary organization and his ingenuity helped build a portfolio of groundbreaking therapies and next generation products. His leadership also took Forest from virtually a start up to the highly successful organization it is today. It has been a privilege for the entire Forest organization to work with him and we look forward to Howard’s continued service to Forest both as Chairman of the Board and also as Senior Advisor to the Company.”
As previously announced, an independent committee of Forest’s Board had initiated a comprehensive process to identify a successor to Mr. Solomon. The committee consisted of five independent directors: Christopher J. Coughlin, who has served as a director since 2011 and is Chairman of the Audit Committee; Kenneth E. Goodman, who has served as a director since 1998 and is Presiding Independent Director; Vincent J. Intrieri, who was appointed to the Board in June 2013; Pierre Legault, who has served as a director since 2012; and Gerald M. Lieberman, who has served as a director since 2011 and is Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee.
About Forest Laboratories
Forest Laboratories’ (NYSE:FRX) longstanding global partnerships and track record developing and marketing pharmaceutical products in the United States have yielded its well-established central nervous system and cardiovascular franchises and innovations in anti-infective, respiratory, gastrointestinal and pain management medicine. Forest’s pipeline, the most robust in its history, includes product candidates in all stages of development across a wide range of therapeutic areas. The Company is headquartered in New York, NY. To learn more, visit www.FRX.com.
Except for the historical information contained herein, this release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, including the difficulty of predicting FDA approvals, the acceptance and demand for new pharmaceutical products, the impact of competitive products and pricing, the timely development and launch of new products, and the risk factors listed from time to time in Forest Laboratories’ Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and any subsequent SEC filings. Forest assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release to reflect new information or future events or developments.