NEW YORK.- Gustavo Arnal52 years old, CFO of the renowned chain of home goods Bed Bath & Beyond, he died on Friday. He had been hired to help stabilize the company in 2020 as he needed to increase his offerings to meet buyer demand in a retail sector hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Arnal died in what It seemed to be a suicide according to the New York Police Department. It was found near his residence, at 56 Leonard Street, a skyscraper known as the “Jenga building” due to its architectural design, and “appeared to suffer injuries indicative of a fall from a high position”, the police said in a statement.
Emergency physicians pronounced him dead at the scene, and the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine exactly how he died, according to the release.
Arnal, a Venezuelan, joined Bed Bath & Beyond as its CFO in May 2020 as part of an executive shake-up spearheaded by then CEO Mark Tritton, who left in June. arnal formerly He was CFO of Avon and held senior positions at Walgreens Boots Alliance and Procter & Gamble, where he spent more than 20 years of his career.
Arnal spoke to Bed Bath & Beyond investors on Wednesday, giving them updates on the company’s financials and giving them hard news about the impact of his latest recovery efforts. The chain said it had started the process of closure of 150 stores and that it would lay off 20 percent of the workers at your corporate office and throughout your supply chain operations. The closures will also affect franchise jobs, the company said.
Although he had been with Bed Bath & Beyond for only two years, Arnal provided a semblance of continuity in the chain’s ranks, as many top executives had left, including the CEO, COO and director of stores.
The brand was under immense pressure for the past several years as it has worked to rapidly develop its supply chain and operations, while also dealing with business pressures from the pandemic. Last week he announced that he had obtained a loan investment firm Sixth Street to bolster its liquidity.
The company was also at the center of a few weeks trading volatility, partly due to a legion of individual investors. The network’s shares soared on August 16, buoyed by revelations from activist investor Ryan Cohen; they collapsed soon after when he revealed that he had sold the company outright.
Arnal sold approximately 55,000 shares of Bed Bath & Beyond on August 16 and 17, as part of a business plan he had signed in April. In August, Bed Bath & Beyond revealed in a regulatory filing that some shareholders were suing Arnal and the chain. The company said it was in the “initial stages of evaluating the complaint” but, based on its current understanding, “believes the claims are without merit.”
Bed Bath & Beyond released a statement Sunday about Arnal’s death, saying it was “Deeply saddened by this shocking loss.” “Our focus is to support his family and his team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time,” the company said.
By Lauren Hirsch and Jordyn Holman