Bed Bath & Beyond CFO's death ruled a suicide

Gustavo Arnal's suicide came days after the struggling retailer announced it was closing stores and laying off workers. PHOTOS: REUTERS, BEDBATHANDBEYOND.COM

WASHINGTON - The death of Bed Bath & Beyond's chief financial officer, who fell from New York's Tribeca skyscraper, also known as the "Jenga" tower, last Friday, has been ruled a suicide, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office said on Monday.

Mr Gustavo Arnal, 52, died from "multiple" points of blunt force trauma, the office said.

The suicide came days after the struggling retailer announced that it was closing stores and laying off workers.

It also came after Mr Arnal and the company were sued on Aug 23 over accusations of artificially inflating the firm's stock price in a "pump and dump" scheme, with the lawsuit alleging that Mr Arnal sold off his shares at a higher price after the scheme.

The company said it was "in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge, the company believes the claims are without merit".

Mr Arnal joined Bed Bath & Beyond in 2020. He previously worked as CFO for cosmetics brand Avon in London and had a 20-year stint with Procter & Gamble, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Police responded to a 911 call at 12.30pm local time on Friday and found a man dead near the building who suffered injuries from a fall. Police identified the man as Mr Arnal. Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed his death in a press statement on Sunday, but gave no details.

The big-box chain - once considered 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 goods.

Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close 150 stores, cut jobs and overhaul its merchandising strategy in an attempt to turn around its money-losing business.

It forecast a bigger-than-expected 26 per cent slump in same-store sales for the second quarter and said it would retain its Buybuy Baby business, which it had put up for sale. REUTERS

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.