President and CEO of PE-backed Art Van Furniture to retire

Kim Yost, president and CEO of Warren, Michigan-based Art Van Furniture, a furniture and mattress retailer, is planning on retiring. Yost will stay with the company until a successor is named. Art Van Furniture is backed by Thomas H. Lee Partners LP.


WARREN, Mich., Feb. 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Art Van Furniture (“Art Van” or “the company”) President and CEO Kim Yost today announced plans to retire after nine years with the company. In order to ensure a seamless leadership transition, Mr. Yost will maintain his current role until a successor has been appointed. Art Van has commenced a process to identify and evaluate candidates for the President and CEO position.

“I am very proud of what the company and its associates have achieved during our time together over the past nine years – growing from $350 million to over $1.3 billion in sales, from 35 stores to over 180 across 9 states, and from 1,500 associates to over 5,700,” said Yost. “The future is very bright for Art Van, and a multi-year strategic plan that will ensure the continued growth and success of the Art Van, Levin and Wolf Furniture brands has been laid out. I am confident that the company’s next chapter will be a great one and I look forward to supporting a smooth leadership transition.”

“Additionally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the late Mr. Art Van Elslander, the Van Elslander family and my many associates for the opportunity to have led the company and be part of the Art Van story for the past nine years,” said Yost.

“We thank Kim for the leadership and guidance he has provided to the company,” said Jeff Swenson, Managing Director of Thomas H. Lee Partners. “He has been an incredible partner to us through this year of transition, and we believe that Art Van continues to be uniquely positioned to capitalize on future growth opportunities.”

About Art Van Furniture, LLC.
Art Van Furniture, LLC is the Midwest’s No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer with 184 stores in 9 states operating under the following brands; Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, Art Van Flooring, Scott Shuptrine Interiors, Levin Furniture, Wolf Furniture and Gardiner Wolf Furniture. Founded in 1959, the company is headquartered in Warren, Mich. Visit for more information.

About Levin Furniture
Founded in 1902, Levin Furniture has 35 furniture and mattress showrooms and clearance centers in Northeastern Ohio and Southwestern Pennsylvania. For more information, visit

About Wolf Furniture
Wolf Furniture was founded in Altoona, Pennsylvania in 1902, and purchased Maryland-based Gardiners Furniture in 2015. The company has 18 furniture showrooms in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. For more information, visit

About Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.
Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) is a premier private equity firm investing in middle market growth companies, headquartered in North America, exclusively in four industry sectors: Business & Financial Services, Consumer & Retail, Healthcare, and Media, Information Services & Technology. Using the firm’s deep domain expertise and the internal operating capabilities of its Strategic Resource Group, THL seeks to create deal sourcing advantages, and to accelerate growth and improve operations in its portfolio companies in partnership with management teams. Since its founding in 1974, THL has raised over $22 billion of equity capital, acquired over 140 portfolio companies and completed over 360 add-on acquisitions which collectively represent a combined enterprise value at the time of acquisition of over $200 billion.