Brent Saunders To Run Forest Labs: Twist On The Legacy Schering-Plough Rumor

A few weeks back an anonymous commenter offered a rumor mill tip, from CaféPharma, that Fast Fred Hassan would become the new CEO of embattled Forest Labs.

That’s almost right, apparently. But only almost. It is Fred’s shadow guy — yep. The new CEO, according to Ed Silverman at Pharmalot is. . . Brent Saunders. Here is some of Ed’s fine reporting:

. . . .Brent Saunders, a former Schering-Plough exec who has been a Forest director for the past two years and was CEO at Bausch + Lomb, but became available after the eye-care company was purchased by Valeant Pharmaceuticals for $8.7 billion a few months ago.

“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,” says Ken Goodman, an independent Forest director who on the succession committee, in a statement.

The move comes after Solomon, who is 86 and has been CEO since 1977, has had a decidedly mixed tenure. On one hand, he helped build the drugmaker into a large purveyor of medicines, but more recently, he presided over setbacks that prompted corporate raider Carl Icahn to attack his leadership and successfully place a representative on the Forest board after accumulating 9 percent of the stock. . . .

It’s a small pharma world — with rapidly rotating revolving doors — it seems. Here’s my older background on Brent’s post Schering-Plough career.

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