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Bed Bath & Beyond shares plummet after CFO jumps to his death | CNN Business

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CNN Business

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond opened 15% lower in early trading after the death of one of its top executives.

Gustavo Arnal, the beleaguered retailer’s chief financial officer, jumped from a high-rise Manhattan apartment to his death Friday afternoon, a law enforcement source previously told CNN. The NYPD said in a statement Sunday that Arnal, 52, was unconscious and unresponsive outside his 57-story luxury skyscraper near Tribeca.

The law enforcement source told CNN on Sunday that Arnal’s wife saw him jump. The source said that although no suicide note was found, there is no suspicion of crime.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) is “deeply saddened by this shocking loss,” a company spokesperson said. In a statement Sunday, independent chairman of the board of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Harriet Edelman, said: “I want to express our sincere condolences to Gustavo’s family.”

“Our focus is on supporting his family and his team and our thoughts are with them at this sad and difficult time. Join us and respect the privacy of the family,” said Edelman. Arnal joined Bed Bath & Beyond in May 2020 after a career in finance with Avon, Walgreen (WBA)s Boots Alliance and Procter & Gamble (PG).

Arnal was named as a defendant in a class action lawsuit in which he accused him, Ryan Cohen and other major shareholders of participating in a “pump and dump” scheme to artificially inflate the price of the company’s stock. The lawsuit was filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The lawsuit alleges that Arnal and others have made misleading statements and omissions in communicating with investors about the company’s strategic plans and financial condition, and delayed disclosures about holding and selling their own stock. The lawsuit also alleges that the stakeholders shared fake earnings figures and business plans to divest the “Buy Buy Baby” brand in order to fuel a stock buying frenzy.

Bed Bath & Beyond is in deep financial turmoil. The company is trying to save itself and stay out of bankruptcy by downsizing. The chain said last week it will lay off about 20% of the company’s employees, close about 150 stores and scrap several of its internal household goods brands. The company also said it has secured more than $500 million in funding to address its ailing financial problems.

On Tuesday, the company appointed Laura Crossen, senior vice president of finance, as interim CFO, and she will continue her role as chief accounting officer.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental hIf it is really important, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 to contact a trained counselor or visit the NSPL site.

– Brynn Gingras, Liam Reilly, Ramishah Maruf and Samantha Beech of CNN contributed to this report.

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