Forest Laboratories (UNKNOWN:FRX.DL) now has a significant research project on its plate -- finding the company's next CEO. The current occupant of that position, Howard Solomon, is to retire at the end of this year. He will remain as chairman of the firm until its annual general meeting, after which he will hold the title of chairman emeritus.

Solomon is Forest Labs' longtime chief executive, having served in the post since 1977. He has been chairman since 1998, and was named president in 2010.

The company's board has formed an independent committee to find a successor, with the assistance of executive search firm Spencer Stuart.