Bed Bath & Beyond had concerns about CFO's stress level: report

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Officials and directors at Bed, Bath & Beyond had become concerned about the level of stress that Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Arnal was under in the weeks before he took his own life.

Those demands involved the intensifying financial crisis at the home-goods chain, people familiar told The Wall Street Journal.

Interim Chief Executive Sue Gove, among others, thought Arnal was overwhelmed but didn’t want to replace the finance chief while the company was in the midst of raising money, the people said.

BED BATH & BEYOND STOCK IN FOCUS AFTER CFO DEATH RULED A SUICIDE, SHAREHOLDER LAWSUIT

Bed Bath & Beyond Chief Financial Officer Gustavo Arnal. ( REUTERS/ BED BATH & BEYOND HANDOUT / Reuters Photos)

Arnal was putting in 18-hour days while he worked on the company’s restructuring plans. 

Also, investors and plaintiffs’ lawyers were questioning the August sale of some of his holdings in the retailer.

Arnal had reportedly discussed with the company the possibility of taking a break.

Bed Bath & Beyond storefront (iStock / iStock)

Company officials had planned to pick up the discussions after the Labor Day holiday, sources told The Journal.

BED BATH & BEYOND APPOINTS INTERIM CFO

Arnal and other executives announced on Aug. 31 that they had secured fresh financing and briefed investors on a major restructuring. 

The company said it would be laying off 20% of its workforce across corporate and supply chains and closing 150 "lower-producing" stores as part of a new strategy to turn its struggling business around.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BBBY BED BATH & BEYOND INC. 7.91 +0.87 +12.36%

On Friday September 2, police said Arnal fell from the iconic Jenga Tower skyscraper in downtown Manhattan. A spokesperson for the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed to FOX Business that Arnal took his own life.

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A shareholder’s lawsuit was filed alleging wrongdoing at the company, but an internal investigation has not turned up evidence of fraud or wrongdoing. The company has said that the suit is meritless.

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