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Who was Gustavo Arnal, Bed Bath & Beyond’s CFO, and what was the cause of his death?

New York police confirmed that the Chief Financial Officer for the chain of domestic merchandise retail stores had died over the weekend.

Bed, Bath & Beyond CFO dies of suicide

On Sunday it was announced that Gustavo Arnal, chief financial officer of Bed, Bath & Beyond, had died after falling from his apartment building in downtown Manhattan.

A report from the New York City medical examiner’s office said that the cause of death was multiple blunt trauma and suspected that he had taken his own life. It is not thought that he left a note and did not say anything to his wife, according to a source cited by CNBC.

In a statement released shortly after the death was confirmed, Bed, Bath & Beyond released a statement saying that the company was “profoundly saddened by this shocking loss.”

“I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo’s family. Gustavo will be remembered by all he worked with for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our Company,” wrote Harriet Edelman, Chair of Bed Bath & Beyond’s board of directors.

“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.”

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is available to call free-of-charge 24/7 on 988, offering confidential support for anyone in need of assistance. The Lifeline provides help for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources for those who believe a loved one may be at risk.

Company had faced tough economic conditions

Arnal’s tragic death came just days after Bed, Bath & Beyond had launched a plan to reinvigorate the company after a spell of dwindling sales. The company’s stock price has been incredibly volatile in the past two years, gaining a reputation as a ‘meme stock’ during the pandemic-induced boom in home trading.

Meme stocks were buffeted by wild price swings as social media hype caused them to boom and bust. As recent as August the company’s stock as experiencing multiple days with a 20% stock price swing.

The stock price of Bed, Bath & Beyond has fallen 43% since the start of the year and is currently around 90% down on its all-time high. The company’s restructuring effort involved closing around 150 “lower producing” stores and cutting around 20% of its staff.

However it had also secured new financing worth more than $500 million and analysts had praised the company’s efforts in getting things back on track.