Bed Bath & Beyond police stated Sunday that the chief financial officer of Bed Bath & Beyond jumped to his death from his luxurious apartment in the renowned “Jenga Building” in Tribeca, just days after the ailing retail business announced it would close 150 locations.
Gustavo Arnal, 52, died after jumping from the landmark Leonard St. skyscraper at about 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to police.
According to emergency radio communications, he landed on the roof of a building next door.
Reuters also reported that Arnal sold 55,013 shares on August 16.
That transaction occurred during the retail chain’s weeklong climb, spurred by the same type of “meme stock” speculation on forums like Reddit that drove GameStop’s stock to all-time highs last year.
The stock, which had fallen below $5 in June, reached a high of more than $29 on Aug. 17 before plummeting precipitously.
A Virginia-based investor filed a class-action suit against the firm, Arnal, and GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen, accusing them of executing a months-long pump-and-dump scheme.
Cohen, labeled a “meme-stock champion” by the lawsuit, and his firm, RC Ventures, purchased a 9.8% stake in the company in March, acquiring three seats on its board, and then sold it for a tidy profit beginning August 17, leaving investors who followed the online buzz holding the bag.
On Wednesday, the retail behemoth announced a plan to liquidate 150 “lowest generating” outlets and lay off staff, resulting in a 20% reduction in its workforce. Last quarter, sales at the shop chain fell 26%.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the corporation confirmed Arnal’s death.
” I wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Gustavo’s family. Gustavo will be remembered for 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, “Harriet Edelman, the independent chair of the company’s board of directors, said.”
“Our focus is on supporting his family and team,” Edelman added.