Foothill Ranch-based Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. hired Korn/Ferry International to help the nursing home operator conduct a search for a successor to former President and Chief Operating Officer Jose Lynch.

The company said it is looking for an executive to lead Skilled Healthcare's long-term care operations segment and does not have a time frame for when it would like to complete its search.

Lynch, who was with the company since 2002, is leaving the company to "pursue other professional opportunities," according to a statement from the company.

Lynch, whose resignation was effective immediately, is expected to advise the company during the transition period through the end of February.

Skilled Healthcare's shares were about flat in afternoon trading Thursday to a market value of $176.80 million.