The death of Bed Bath & Beyond’s chief financial officer, who fell from a Manhattan skyscraper on Friday, was ruled a suicide on Monday by New York City’s medical examiner.
“The entire Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. organization is profoundly saddened by this shocking loss,” the company said in a statement on Sunday, before the death of its CFO, Gustavo Arnal, was ruled a suicide.
The company credited Arnal as being “instrumental” in leading the organization during the pandemic after joining the company in May 2020, remembering him as an “esteemed colleague in the financial community.”
The company’s statement gave no details regarding his death.
“I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo’s family,” Harriet Edelman, independent chair of Bed Bath & Beyond’s board, said in the statement. “Gustavo will be remembered by all he worked with for his leadership, talent and stewardship of our Company.”
Eleven days before his death, Arnal was accused in a lawsuit of participating in a “pump and dump” scheme to artificially inflate the retailer’s value. “Pump and dump” refers to spreading false or misleading information to trigger a buying frenzy that leads to an inflated stock price before the instigators sell their personal shares at that inflated price.
Bed Bath & Beyond told Reuters it was “in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge the company believes the claims are without merit.”
Recently the retailer announced a business update “intended to meet the demand of its customers, drive growth and profitability, and improve its balance sheet and cash flows.” To save $250 million in spending, the company said it would close 150 stores and lay off 20% of its workforce.
Since Arnal’s death, the company has promoted its chief accounting officer, Laura Crossen, to fill in as the chief financial officer. The company’s shares dropped nearly 18% to $7.09 in midday trading on Tuesday on the news of the former CFO’s death.
Bed Bath & Beyond did not immediately respond to Fortune’s request for comment.
If you are having thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or 1-800-273-8255.
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