Gustavo Arnal: Bed, Bath & Beyond CFO dies falling from skyscraper amid company crisis | Economie

On the left, the chief financial officer of Bed Bath and & Beyond, Gustavo Arnal, and on the right, one of the brand’s stores in New York City.RR.SS. / Getty Images

Gustavo Arnal, chief financial officer and number two at decor and retail firm Bed, Bath & Beyond, died Friday when he fell from his apartment in a New York skyscraper. The company has confirmed the death of the 52-year-old Venezuelan-born CEO. Arnal worked as No. 2 in the company, which was going through a very delicate economic situation. It just announced 150 store closures and 20% layoffs of the workforce.

Detectives are working with the suicide hypothesis, according to the NYPD. Arnal fell out of his apartment in the famous 50-story tower at 56 Leonard Street in Tribeca, Manhattan. The building is known for its strange structure like the Jenga tower, referring to the game of cubes in which you have to remove the blocks without the tower collapsing. Arnal fell out of his apartment on the eighteenth floor. The executive did not leave a note or say anything to his wife, who was in the apartment at the time.

Arnal holds an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Simon Bolivar University in Caracas and a master’s degree in finance from the Metropolitan University. He had a long and successful career in the consumer sector. Bed Bath & Beyond signed him in May 2020, as he was a turnaround engineer for the beauty products direct sales company. Prior to joining Avon, he also had executive responsibilities at Walgreens and Procter & Gamble.

Bed, Bath & Beyond was on the verge of suspending payments due to its financial problems, caused first by the pandemic and then by changes in consumption habits due to rising inflation. News about changes in shareholders, advances and setbacks in debt refinancing negotiations sparked violent fluctuations in the prices of its bonds, which entered the debt category. meme actions, With prices based on fashion and buying fever and sentiment over the company accounts.

class action

The deceased CEO was the subject of a class action lawsuit filed on August 23 that accused him, among others, of fraud, use of confidential information and unfair management. The lawsuit alleges that he artificially inflated the company’s stock price with false and misleading information. The price has fallen 65% in the past year, to $8.63, but in the first half of August it has risen by nearly 600%, to more than $30, but has fallen again. Arnal sold shares of the company at that peak for $1.4 million.

Bed, Bath & Beyond notified the supervisor of filing the claim, stating that “the company is in the early stages of evaluating the claim, but based on current knowledge, believes the allegations are unfounded.”

According to documents the company registered with the Securities Exchange Commission, the Arnal transfer contract included compensation in the event of death or disability estimated at the time at more than $9 million. According to documents from the last shareholder meeting, Arnal received compensation of $4.65 million in 2020 and $2.9 million in 2021, a large portion of which was in equity awards.

“I would like to extend our deepest condolences to Gustavo’s family. Everyone who worked with Gustavo will be remembered for his leadership, talent and leadership of our company. I am proud to be his colleague, and will be sorely missed by all of us at Bed Bath and Beyond and everyone who was happy,” said Harriet Edelman, the company’s independent president, in a statement. Knowing him.” “Our focus is on supporting his family and team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time. Please join us in respect of the family’s privacy.”

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