After authorities initially claimed that Gustavo Arnal died after a fall, Bed Bath & Beyond announced on Sunday that Arnal passed away on Friday.
The executive committed suicide, according to the New York City medical examiner’s office, which also reported that he died from numerous traumatic trauma. WNBC was informed by sources that Arnal did not leave a note or speak to his wife, who was there at the time.
“The entire Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. organization is profoundly saddened by this shocking loss,” the business declared in a statement.
Police said 52-year-old Arnal fell from a building in central Manhattan on Friday afternoon. Known locally as the “Jenga Tower” or the “Jenga Building,” the landmark skyscraper boasts more than 50 levels of unusually stacked flats.
According to a representative from New York’s Office of the Deputy Commissioner, the city’s police department’s public information office, Emergency Medical Services certified Arnal dead at the scene.
Just after the coronavirus pandemic began in 2020, Arnal left the cosmetics business Avon in London to work at Bed Bath. He also worked for Procter & Gamble for 20 years. Bed Bath & Beyond stated in a statement on Sunday that Arnal “was instrumental in guiding the organization throughout the coronavirus pandemic.”
Arnal bought and sold a number of corporate shares after joining Bed Bath. According to a document, he sold more than 55,000 shares last month for a total of $1.23 million at prices ranging from $20 to $29.95 per share. He executed a trading plan in April, and those sales were done in accordance with it. He continued to own 255,396 shares following those most recent sales, according to the paper.
Recent difficulties at Bed Bath
The stock price of Bed Bath & Beyond is down 43% so far this year and 90% from its all-time high.
Two days after the business revealed plans to liquidate 150 of its “lowest generating” namesake outlets, Arnal passed away. The New Jersey-based company said that it had acquired more than $500 million in new finance, including a loan, and that it would be laying off 20% of its workforce.
The cost-cutting actions come as Bed Bath’s main line of business faces more difficulties. On Wednesday, the firm said that sales were still going down, with same-store sales down 26% for the three-month period ending on August 27. This was a greater decline than in previous quarters.
According to some analysts, even though the Wednesday-announced rescue plan may strengthen the company’s cash situation, it won’t be enough to keep Bed Bath & Beyond in operation. The stock was downgraded by Raymond James on Thursday, claiming that the cost reductions and new financing “only kicks the problem further down the road.”
One of the publicly traded companies affected by the so-called “meme trade,” which causes dramatic price swings in equities depending on investor enthusiasm on social media, is Bed Bath. Bed Bath & Beyond saw several days in August with price changes of more than 20%.
Ryan Cohen, an activist investor and a sizable Bed Bath stakeholder, sold his shares in the middle of August. Cohen’s RC Ventures sold its shares of Bed Bath & Beyond for between $18.68 and $29.22 each. Following the sale, the shares fell 40%.
In the District of Columbia, a class action complaint has also been launched against Bed Bath accusing the company of exaggerating its worth and profitability. Both Cohen and Arnal are mentioned in the lawsuit.
According to Bed Bath, it won’t comment on legal matters, it told CNBC. The business stated in a filing with the SEC dated August 31 that it was “evaluating the complaint” but that, based on what it knew at the time, it thought the accusations were “without merit.”