Bed Bath & Beyond CFO dead after apparent fall from New York high-rise, police say

Gustavo Arnal, chief financial officer and executive vice president of retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, died Friday after an apparent fall from his Manhattan skyscraper, police said.

Confirming his death in a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the company praised Arnal, 52, for his leadership and said he “has been instrumental in guiding the organization through the coronavirus pandemic” after joining the company in the spring of 2020.

Arnal was found dead in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan, according to the New York Police Department. At approximately 12:30 p.m. local time, officers and emergency medical personnel responded to a 911 call reporting an unconscious person in the Leonard Street and West Broadway area near Arnal’s residence at 56 Leonard Street. The high-rise apartment complex is commonly known as the Jenga building due to its uneven construction, with 57 floors stacked on top of each other in a design reminiscent of the building blocks game.

In a statement on Sunday, the NYPD said Arnal “appeared to be suffering from injuries indicative of a fall from a high position.” Later, the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Arnal’s death a suicide, according to The New York Times.

CBS News contacted the medical examiner’s office for confirmation but did not receive an immediate response.

A few days before his death, Bed Bath & Beyond announced its intention to close 150 stores and reduced its corporate and supply chain staff by 20%. Shares of the company fell 25% after a long period of steadily declining sales.

On Sunday, the company said it was “deeply saddened by this shocking loss”.

“I want to extend our deepest condolences to Gustavo’s family. Everyone he worked with will remember Gustavo for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our business. I am proud to have been his colleague, and he will be truly missed by all of us at Bed Bath & Beyond and all who had the pleasure of knowing him,” said Harriet Edelman, Independent Chair of Bed Bath & Beyond’s Board of Directors. “Our goal is to support his family and his team and our thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time. Please join us in respecting the privacy of the family.”

If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or in a suicidal crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

For more information on mental health care resources and support, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline can be reached Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) or email [email protected]

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