Bed Bath & Beyond CFO plunges to death in New York tower

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The chief financial officer of Bed Bath & Beyond Inc died on Friday afternoon from New York’s Tribeca skyscraper, known as the “Jenga” tower, police said, just days after a lawsuit alleged that he was involved in a “pumping and dumping” scheme.

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Gustavo Arnal, 52, joined Bed Bath & Beyond in 2020. He previously worked as chief financial officer for cosmetics brand Avon in London and spent 20 years at Procter & Gamble, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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At 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday, police responded to a 911 call and found a 52-year-old man dead near the building who appeared to have been injured in a fall. Police identified the man as Gustavo Arnal.

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

Arnal sold 55,013 shares of Bed Bath & Beyond in multiple trades on Aug. 16 and 17, according to Reuters calculations based on SEC filings. Sales were around $1.4 million and Arnal still had nearly 255,400 shares remaining.

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On August 23, the company, Arnal and major shareholder Ryan Cohen were sued for artificially inflating the company’s stock price as part of a “pump and dump” scheme, with the lawsuit alleging that ‘Arnal had sold his shares at 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 approximately $1.2 billion.

The filing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia alleged that Arnal “agreed to regulate all insider selling by officers and directors of BBBY to ensure that the market would not be flooded with large numbers of BBBY shares at any given time”.

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

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The company did not respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

The death of the chief financial officer was reported earlier by the New York Post while the lawsuit was first reported by the Daily Mail.

The big-box chain – once seen as 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 or private label products.

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

Bed Bath & Beyond forecast a bigger-than-expected 26% drop in same-store sales for the second quarter and said it would retain its buybuy Baby business, which it had put up for sale.

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