Lawrence A. Cohen, vice chairman and CEO of Capital Senior Living Corp., will retire effective Jan. 1, the company announced this morning. Cohen has been with the company for 21 years, 19 as CEO.

“It has been an honor to lead the company and our dedicated team of employees, and I am proud of all we have achieved together,” he said in a statement. “This is a dynamic time in our industry, and we have significant work ahead to drive occupancy growth, stabilize our rates and continue to execute on our operational improvement initiatives. The strength of our team, reputation for providing quality senior housing services and differentiated strategy focused on owned real estate give me a high degree of confidence in Capital Senior Living’s long-term prospects.”

The Dallas-based company ranked No. 9 on the 2017 American Seniors Housing Association list of the 50 largest senior housing operators and No. 9 on the ASHA 50 list of largest senior housing owners. Capital Senior Living placed in the No. 9 spot on Argentum’s 2017 list of largest senior living providers based on resident capacity.

Under Cohen’s leadership, Board of Directors Chairman Michael W. Reid said, Capital Senior Living has expanded from 36 communities serving approximately 6,000 residents in 1999 to 129 communities serving approximately 16,500 residents today. The company’s communities, in geographically concentrated regions, emphasize a continuum of care that integrates independent living, assisted living and memory care services.

“On behalf of our entire board, I want to thank Larry for his countless contributions to the company over the course of his distinguished career,” Reid said.

Capital Senior Living’s board has hired executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help identify an external candidate to replace Cohen.

“The board is committed to conducting a thorough search to identify the right candidate who will bring to Capital Senior Living strategic vision and a strong track record of operational and financial execution,” Reid said. “We look forward to Larry’s continued leadership as we conduct this search process.”

Cohen will serve as a consultant to the company for two years after his retirement, Capital Senior Living said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He will be paid almost $2.6 million in this role and will be subject to non-competition and non-disparagement clauses during this time.