The current chairman and chief executive officer of CORT has announced his retirement for July 1, leaving a 44-year legacy of leadership that helped established the world’s largest provider of rental furniture.
Paul Arnold has chosen to step down from his role as chairman and CEO.
Jeff Pederson, who has served as CORT’s president since 2006, following two years as chief financial officer, is the new chief executive officer and will continue to serve as president.
“There is no doubt that Paul Arnold has established CORT as the leader in the furniture rental industry,” said Pederson. “We will miss his vision, leadership and his passion for doing what’s right for the business, customers and CORT employees.”
Since joining CORT in 1972 and serving as CEO for 20 years, Arnold is best known in the industry for growing CORT from four small companies into the market leader in the furniture rental industry through more than 50 acquisitions, including Aaron’s Corporate Furnishings Division, Globe Furniture Rental, Evans and General Furniture Leasing.
In addition to building the company to more than 2,000 employees with 100 offices andshowrooms across the United States and the United Kingdom, Arnold’s tenure includes leading the company in the development of several high-potential businesses to bolster CORT’s core furniture rental operations. Having taken CORT public in the 90s, Arnold successfully led CORT through privatization and acquisition by the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies in 2000.
“It has been my pleasure to serve the customers and employees of CORT throughout the years,” said Arnold. “My experience at CORT has been truly rewarding, and CORT’s executive team is well positioned to take the company to the next level. With trusted leadership at the helm, I am confident and excited about the future of CORT and what the company will be able to accomplish.”