Howard Solomon, 94, dies; His business success had a personal connection

“Forest Pharmaceuticals has deliberately chosen to track corporate profits over its obligations to the FDA and the U.S. public,” said Carmen Ortiz, a U.S. Massachusetts representative when the settlement was announced.

The company denied the allegations. In a statement at the time, Mr. Solomon said: “We remain committed to ensuring that we operate in full compliance with all laws and regulations.”

In 2011, Forest Labs won a proxy fight against shareholder activist Carl C. Icahn, who claimed that the company had lost billions of dollars in shareholder value over the past decade, among other things. Mr. Icahn continued to pursue Forest Labs with a second match in 2012, which ended with the election of one of his nominees to the company’s board of directors.

In a letter to Mr. Icahn during this fight, Mr. Solomon wrote: “Your speech so far has shown a marked lack of strategic ideas. Instead, it is full of wild and unsubstantiated accusations, allusions and distortions. “

Nevertheless, at some point, Mr. Solomon addressed Mr. Icahn and held a series of dinners.

“We became friends,” Mr. Icahn said in a telephone interview. “I thought he was a nice gentleman, a polite guy.” He added: “I did not necessarily agree with the way he ran the business, but he was a nice person who was excited about the result. He made a lot of money. “

In 2013, Mr. Solomon announced his retirement as CEO and was replaced by Brent Saunders, a Mr. Icahn-friendly executive. Then, in early 2014, Actavis (now Allergan) paid $ 25 billion to acquire Forest Labs. Mr. Solomon, still chairman of the board, left after the acquisition and started a family-owned investment firm with his younger son, David, who was the director of Forest Labs.

In addition to Mr. Solomon’s sons, his wife Sarah Billinghurst Solomon, a former assistant director general of arts at the Metropolitan Opera, and five grandchildren remained. His first wife, Carolyn (Bower) Solomon, died in 1991.


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