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Forest Labs CEO Howard Solomon to retire

NEW YORK (AP) -- Forest Laboratories Inc. said Thursday that longtime executive Howard Solomon will retire as president and CEO at the end of 2013.

Forest said it has been reviewing candidates to replace Solomon and expects to name a successor before the end of the year.

Solomon, 85, will remain chairman of the board until Forest's annual shareholder meeting in 2014. He will become chairman emeritus after that and will remain on the board if shareholders elect him to a new term. Solomon has been with Forest for almost 50 years and has been CEO for about 35 years.

Solomon joined Forest as outside counsel and director and secretary in 1964. He has been CEO since 1977, chairman since 1998, and president since 2010. In 2012 billionaire investor Carl Icahn demanded more information about the company's plans to replace Solomon and about Forest's plans for David Solomon, who became a senior executive in January 2011. David Solomon, Howard's son, is the pharmaceutical company's head of development and strategic planning.

Forest said it was actively planning a CEO succession but that announcing a successor at the time would be inappropriate. Icahn started unsuccessful proxy fights with Forest in 2011 and 2012, and according to FactSet and he remains the second-largest shareholder in the company.

Shares of Forest Labs gained $1.19, or 3.2 percent, to $38.70 in morning trading while the broader markets were down. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $31.28 and $39.09.