Bed Bath & Beyond CFO Gustavo Arnal Dies by Suicide at 52: A 'Shocking Loss,' Says Company

·3 min read
Gustavo Arnal
Gustavo Arnal

Bed Bath & Beyond Gustavo Arnal

Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Arnal died on Friday, the company and police confirmed.

The 52-year-old executive was found "unconscious and unresponsive" around 12:30 p.m. ET, according to a New York City Police Department report provided to PEOPLE.

Arnal appeared to "suffer from injuries indicative of a fall from an elevated position," the report said. He was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel.

Bed Bath & Beyond confirmed his death in a statement from Harriet Edelman, Independent Chair of the company's board of directors.

"I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo's family," Edelman said in the message. "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."

Edelman said Bed Bath & Beyond would focus efforts on Arnal's "family and his team," and the company's "thoughts are with them during this sad and difficult time."

RELATED: Bed Bath & Beyond to Close 150 Stores, Layoff 20% of Employees Amid Financial Struggles

Bed Bath & Beyond
Bed Bath & Beyond

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images A Bed Bath & Beyond store sign

Arnal was found outside of 56 Leonard, a 57-story Tribeca skyscraper known by locals as the "Jenga" tower, according to Reuters. The building gained the nickname due to a stacked appearance that resembles the popular game.

Per CNBC and USA Today, the New York City Medical Examiner's Office said he had died by suicide and did not leave behind a note. PEOPLE has reached out to the ME's Office for comment.

The loss comes at a challenging time for the American retail brand. Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond announced it was closing about 150 stores and would reduce its workforce by 20 percent.

Per the company's press release, the retailer's same-store sales are down approximately 26 percent compared to the same fiscal quarter last year.

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Bed Bath & Beyond previously closed a total of 40 locations nationwide in the first half of 2020.

"We're continually evolving to serve our loyal Bed Bath & Beyond customers better — whether they come to us at one of our 900+ stores or are one of the millions who shop with us online each year," a spokesperson said at the time.

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In mid-August, Arnal sold 55,013 shares in the company for about $1.4 million, according to Reuters.

Arnal was the focus of a lawsuit that accused him and Gamestop chairman Ryan Cohen of participating in a scheme to artificially inflate the price of Bed Bath & Beyond's stock, CNN reported. Filed Aug. 23 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit alleged Arnal made misleading statements when discussing the company, per CNN and Reuters.

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In a statement to Reuters, Bed Bath & Beyond said it was "in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge the company believes the claims are without merit."

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.