The death of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc’s chief financial officer, who fell from New York’s Tribeca skyscraper known as the “Jenga” tower on Sept. 2, has been ruled a suicide, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said on Monday, Sept. 5.
Gustavo Arnal, 52, died from “multiple” blunt force trauma, the office said.
The suicide came days after the struggling retailer announced it was closing stores and laying off workers.
It also comes after Arnal as well as the company were sued on Aug. 23 over accusations of artificially inflating the firm’s stock price in a “pump and dump” scheme, with the lawsuit alleging Arnal sold off his shares at a higher price after the scheme.
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.”
Arnal joined Bed Bath & Beyond in 2020. He previously worked as CFO for cosmetics brand Avon in London and had a 20-year stint with Procter & Gamble Co, according to his LinkedIn profile.
On Friday, Sept. 2 at 12:30 p.m. ET, police responded to a 911 call and found a 52-year-old man dead near the building who suffered injuries from a fall. Police then identified the man as Arnal. Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed his death in a press statement on Sept. 4 but gave no details.
The big-box chain – once considered a so-called “category killer” in home and bath goods – has seen its fortunes falter after an attempt to sell more of its own-brand goods.
Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond announced that it would close 150 stores, cut jobs and overhaul its merchandising strategy in an attempt to turn around its money-losing business. It forecast a bigger-than-expected 26 percent slump in same-store sales for the second quarter and said it would retain its “buy-buy” Baby business, which it had put up for sale.
(By Reuters. Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Christopher Cushing)