Jorden McVeagh, Editor
On Sunday Sept.4th, Bed Bath and Beyond Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Arnal was found dead by New York City Police Officials. The former 52-year-old CFO was identified as deceased after it was found he threw himself off the balcony of his 18th floor high-rise apartment. Arnal had joined the company at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in May 2020 after a successful career at companies such as Avon, Walgreens and Procter and Gamble. Arnal was instrumental in guiding triple B through the pandemic through his financial knowledge and his ability to create a strong collaborative culture around him. This news however comes at a terrible time for triple B as they creep closer to declaring bankruptcy. As of now, they are fighting this problem by downsizing.
As of Wednesday Sept. 7, the company will be laying off 20% of their corporate employees, closing 150 stores, and reducing several in-house home good brands. In addition to this, $500 million has been saved up to help the company fight through the financial hardships they are facing at this time. Shifting the focus back on Gustavo Arnal, on Aug. 23, a lawsuit filed in the US District Court in DC naming Arnal as a defendant in a class action lawsuit. This case pinned him against Ryan Cohen, who accused the company and Arnal of pump and dump schemes to hyperinflate the company’s stock price. The contents of the lawsuit stated that Arnal and other company officials made misleading comments regarding the company’s current financial situation. Bed Bath and Beyond failed to communicate financial plans with investors, delayed stockholders from seeing their holdings and stock positions, and shared fake revenue numbers.
The company also introduced their “Buy Buy Baby” promotion for the purpose of increasing stock price. This promotion saw triple B acquire a privately held baby merchandising company for $67 million. This comes at a time of financial hardship for companies worldwide. It is worth noting that Ryan Cohen, the other side of the lawsuit against Arnal, sold his $178 million stake in the company. As a result of this sale, Bed Bath & Beyond stock (BBBY) dropped by a whopping 19.63%. On Aug. 18, the day Cohen sold his shares, Bed Bath and Beyond stock price dropped from $23.08 per share to $8.63 per share as of today. This was the beginning of the downfall for the company, and they have been fighting to stay afloat since. It will be interesting to see how Bed Bath and Beyond fights through this time and the financial standing of the company moving forward.