Bed Bath & Beyond CFO falls to death from New York tower

By Julia Wray | Published: 5-Sep-2022

Gustavo Arnal, 52, had previously held finance positions at Avon, Walgreens Boots Alliance and P&G

The CFO of domestic merchandise retail store Bed Bath & Beyond has died following a fall from New York’s ‘Jenga’ tower.

City authorities confirmed that Gustavo Arnal fell from the Manhattan skyscraper on Friday; the news broke just days after the retailer said it was closing stores and laying off workers.

Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond forecast a 26% drop in same-store sales in Q2. In response, it announced the planned closure of 150 stores, as well as job cuts and an overhaul of its merchandising strategy.

Arnal, who joined Bed Bath & Beyond in 2020, had previously held the CFO position at Avon in London, as well as financial roles at Walgreens Boots Alliance and Procter & Gamble.

A statement issued by Bed Bath & Beyond said the organisation was “profoundly saddened by this shocking loss”.

Harriet Edelman, Independent Chair of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc, said: “I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo's family. Gustavo will be remembered by all he worked with for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our company.

“I am proud to have been his colleague, and he will be truly missed by all of us at Bed Bath & Beyond and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

“Our focus is on supporting his family and his team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time. Please join us in respecting the family's privacy.”

On Friday at 12.30pm ET, police responded to a 911 call and found a 52-year-old man dead near the ‘Jenga’ tower who had suffered injuries from a fall. Police identified the man as Arnal.

While the initial police statement did not provide further details on the circumstances leading to Arnal's death, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office has since ruled his death a suicide.

Bed Bath & Beyond saw shares plunge in August after one of its largest shareholders, RC Ventures’ Ryan Cohen, announced that he was selling all of his stock in the company.

On 23 August, Arnal and Cohen were also sued over accusations of artificially inflating the company’s stock price in a ‘pump and dump’ scheme. The class action lawsuit accuses Arnal of selling off his shares at a higher price after the scheme.

Commenting on the lawsuit, Bed Bath & Beyond said it was “in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge the company believes the claims are without merit”.

This article was updated on 6 September 2022 to reflect the New York City Medical Examiner's Office's ruling.

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