After announcements of layoffs, store closures and numerous days of plunging stock prices, Bed, Bath & Beyond chief financial officer and executive vice president, Gustavo Arnal, fell to his death from a New York skyscraper. According to reports, the 52-year-old fell from the 18th floor of the “Jenga Tower” in Manhattan.
On Friday, police responded to reports of a dead man near the Tribeca neighborhood building, who appeared to have suffered injuries from a fall. While the individual’s immediate identification was unknown, reports emerged Saturday and confirmed Sunday that the man was one of the troubled home and bath goods retailer’s top executives.
Bed Bath & Beyond issued a statement confirming Arnal’s death and requesting respect for his family’s privacy.
“I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo’s family,” Harriet Edelman, the chair of Bath & Beyond Inc. Board of directors, said in a statement Sunday. “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,” Edelman added. “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.”
Bed, Bath & Beyond drew sharp public criticism for nixing MyPillow products over CEO Mike Lindall’s 2020 election claims in 2021. Following weeks of stock price woes, the retailer said Aug. 31 that it was laying off employees, closing 150 stores, and selling nearly12 million shares in an attempt to turn around its money-losing slide.
The financial struggle persisted in the first and second quarters of 2022, with the first quarter suffering a 25% drop in sales and the second quarter numbers garnering a bigger than expected 26% slump. Meanwhile, Arnal sold 55,013 shares in the company Aug. 16, according to the Epoch Times.
According to Bloomberg, Arnal, along with several others and Bed, Bath & Beyond, were implicated in civil class action securities fraud suit filed Aug. 23 in federal court. The complaint alleged that from March to August this year, the “parties artificially inflated Bed Bath & Beyond shares.” In addition, the complaint noted a blatant misrepresentation of “value and profitability,” causing inflated revenue reports.