Bed Bath and Beyond’s 52-year-old Chief Financial Officer, Gustavo Arnal, jumped off a New York City skyscraper to his death last Friday.
Arnal held his position as Chief Financial Officer since the spring of 2020 and Executive Vice President.
The Venezuela native jumped to his death from his 18th-floor apartment building while his wife and daughters were at home, around 12:20 am, reported law enforcement officers.
His New York City apartment building is located at 52 Leonard Street, a 60-story building well-known in the community to look similar to the popular game “Jenga” because of the misaligned stacked apartments.
He joined the company back in 2020 after working for various big-name companies such as Avon, and Walgreens Boots Alliance, and a 20-year career with Procter & Gamble, where he boosted his financial career.
Bed Bath and Beyond’s Shaky Business
On August 31st, the struggling retail company, based out of New Jersey, lost nearly a quarter of its value after announcing to investors the retailer’s plans to secure new financing, cut jobs and close about a fifth of its stores.
The announcement came about two days before Arnal jumped to his death.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the company’s stock dropped almost 50% since the beginning of 2022 and closed 18% at $7.04 on Tuesday.
Bed Bath and Beyond named Lauren Crossen, recently promoted to Chief Accounting Officer, to be the interim CFO beginning September 5th.
Gustavo Arnal’s Interesting Investments
When Arnal died, he faced a $1.2 billion “pump-and-dump” stock fraud suit filed against him about two weeks ago.
Arnal was involved in a lawsuit accusing him and GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen of participating in a scheme to artificially inflate the price of Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock, CNN reported.
Filed on August 23rd in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit alleged Arnal made misleading statements when discussing the company, per CNN and Reuters. 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.”
Cohen, the chairman of GameStop and Chewy.com founder, came under fire last month for making $68.1 million in profits by unloading a stake in BBB that reportedly included 7.78 million shares and options to purchase another 1.67 million.
As reported by the NY Post:
Cohen’s lucrative 56% gain came about seven months after he first invested in BBB.
On Aug. 16, the same day Cohen cashed out, Arnal sold 42,513 shares of BBB stock worth more than $1 million, the MarketBeat website reported at the time.
On Sunday, Reuters said its calculations showed that Arnal had actually sold 55,013 shares but didn’t say how much he netted.
The stock closed at $20.65 a share on the day of Arnal’s sell-off, making the sale worth more than $1 million.
The “shady stock move” came shortly before Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close 150 stores and lay off about 20% of its 32,000 workers as part of a restructuring plan to boost its money-losing business.
You can read more details about the lawsuits in the Daily Mail.
Harriet Edelman, chairwoman of the company’s board of directors, said in an official release from Bed Bath and Beyond, “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.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.