Gustavo Arnal, Chief Financial Officer of home retail chain giant Bed Bath & Beyond died Friday, the company reported yesterday.
The New York City Police department reported that he died from injuries after falling from a Manhattan building. Prior to joining Bed Bath & Beyond, Arnal had served at Avon & Procter &Gamble. He was 52
“Gustavo will be remembered by all he worked with for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our Company. I am proud to have been his colleague, and he will be truly missed by all of us at Bed Bath & Beyond and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him,” said Harriet Edelman, independent chair of the company’s board, in Sunday’s statement.
His death is the latest in troubles the company has faced in recent months.
First quarter sales dropped 25% year over year, with the company posting a $358 million dollar loss leading to the firing of CEO Mark Tritton this past June.
Last month shares (NASDAQ: BBBY) in the company skyrocketed from $5.77 to $23.08 in just over two weeks. The run brought to mind other rises in so-called “meme stocks,” where investors invest in companies based more on hype and social media traffic than the business’ fundamentals.
On Wednesday, the company announced that it would close 150 stores nationwide and lay off roughly 20% of its workforce. The closures are part of a larger plan to ultimately shutter 200 stores, and remodel 450 others, while directing focus away from its brick-and-mortar locations and toward e-commerce.
As part of its recovery plan, the company will pivot away from its private label brands and more towards labels such as Dyson and Cuisinart.
The company has also pulled its buybuy Baby business off the market, prompting its largest shareholder to divest his 9.8% stake.
The struggles Bed Bath & Beyond are facing are similar to what other chains are also enduring; the COVID-19 Pandemic, supply chain problems, and inflation slashing consumer confidence & spending have affected most big box retailers.
Bed Bath and Beyond currently employs approximately 32000 employees. An investigation into Arnal’s death is ongoing.