Bed Bath & Beyond CFO dies after falling from New York’s Jenga tower

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Sept 4 (Reuters) – The chief financial officer of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (BBBY.O) was killed when he fell from New York’s Tribeca skyscraper known as the “Jenga” tower on Friday afternoon, police said on Sunday, days after the struggling retailer announced it was closing stores and laying off workers.

Gustavo Arnal, 52, joined Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY.O) in 2020. He previously worked as CFO of cosmetics brand Avon in London and spent 20 years at Procter & Gamble (PG.N), according to your LinkedIn account. profile.

On Friday at 12:30 pm ET (1630 GMT), police responded to a 911 call and found a 52-year-old man dead near the building who sustained injuries from a fall. Police identified the man as Gustavo Arnal.

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The police statement did not provide further details on the circumstances that led to Arnal’s death and said the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office would determine the cause of death. Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed his death in a press release on Sunday, but gave no details.

The supermarket chain, once considered a “category killer” in home and bathroom items, has seen its fortunes tumble after a bid to sell more of its own-brand or private-label products.

Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close 150 stores, cut jobs and review its merchandising strategy in a bid to turn around its money-losing business.

It forecast a larger-than-expected 26% drop in same-store sales for the second quarter and said it would keep its baby-buying business, which it had put up for sale. read more

Signage is seen at a Bed Bath & Beyond store in Manhattan, New York, U.S., June 29, 2022. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File photo

Arnal sold 55,013 shares of Bed Bath & Beyond in multiple transactions on August 16 and 17, Reuters calculations based on SEC filings showed. Sales totaled around $1.4 million, and Arnal still had nearly 255,400 shares remaining.

On August 23, the company, Arnal and major shareholder Ryan Cohen were sued over allegations of artificially inflating the company’s share price in a “pump and dump” scheme, and the lawsuit alleges that Arnal sold his shares to a higher price after the scheme. .

The class action lawsuit listed Arnal as one of the defendants and was brought by a group of shareholders who claimed to have lost around $1.2 billion.

The filing in the US District Court for the District of Columbia alleged that Arnal “agreed to regulate all inside sales by BBBY officers and directors to ensure that the market is not flooded with a large number of shares.” of BBBY at any given time”.

The lawsuit also alleged that he made materially misleading statements to investors.

The company said it was “in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge, the company believes the claims are without merit.”

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond have been highly volatile in recent months, being seen as so-called “meme” stocks, trading more on social media sentiment than economic fundamentals.

Cohen, a billionaire investor, disclosed a nearly 10% stake in early March. Cohen’s RC Ventures revealed plans to sell its stake on August 17. Read more

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Reporting from Kanishka Singh in Washington and Akriti Sharma in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Edited by Lisa Shumaker and Deepa Babington

Our standards: the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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