A Bed Bath & Beyond executive is dead following a fall from the downtown Manhattan luxury skyscraper where he lived, the retail giant and police have confirmed.
The death of Gustavo Arnal, 52, the company’s chief financial officer, comes days after the retail chain announced it would close about 150 of its more than 700 namesake stores and lay off about 20% of its 32,000 employees after its stock fell more than 21% last Wednesday, and 65% in the past year, according to The Associated Press.
Arnal was pronounced dead when emergency medical personnel found him at around 12:30 p.m. on Friday near Leonard Street and West Broadway, police told NBC News in a statement, noting that he “appeared to suffer from injuries indicative from a fall from an elevated position.
“The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office will determine the cause of death and the investigation remains ongoing,” police said.
A Sunday statement from the retailer said that “the entire Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. organization is profoundly saddened by this shocking loss.”
“At Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., Mr. Arnal was instrumental in guiding the organization throughout the coronavirus pandemic, transforming the Company’s financial foundation and building a strong and talented team,” the statement continued. “He was also an esteemed colleague in the financial community.”
The independent chair of the company’s board of directors, Harriet Edelman, said that Arnal “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,” she said, adding that the company’s focus is on supporting Arnal’s family.
Arnal was a resident of 56 Leonard Street, according to police. The 60-story tower is nicknamed the “Jenga Building” due to its misaligned apartments, giving it the appearance of the block stacking game.
Last year, a penthouse in the building sold for $50 million, according to the Real Deal, which reported that residents include the singer Frank Ocean and the actor Keegan Michael-Key.
The building management did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.
Arnal previously held executive roles at the beauty-product company Avon, the drugstore chain Walgreens, and Procter & Gamble, according to his biography on the Bed Bath & Beyond website, and his LinkedIn page, which also note that he had an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the Universidad Simon Bolivar and a master’s degree in finance from the Universidad Metropolitana, both in Caracas, Venezuela.
Last year, Arnal took home $2.9 million as CFO of Bed Bath & Beyond, including $775,000 in salary and the rest in stock awards, according to InsiderTrades.com.
Last month, he sold more than 42,500 shares of company stock worth more than a million dollars, according to the website MarketBeat.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s stock took a major hit last month after an influential investor sold all of his nearly 7.8 million shares. And the company is still searching for a permanent chief executive officer after former CEO Mark Tritton was ousted in June after less than three years on the job, according to the AP.