Bed Bath & Beyond CFO Gustavo Arnal is stressed from working an 18-hour day and is considering taking time off in the weeks before he kills himself, a new report says.

The late executive was also upset by the impact in mid-August of $1.4 million stock sale generated because he had planned the sale beforehand and still holds more than $5 million in company stock, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Arnal was 52 years old when he plunged to his death from the 18th story, $18,500 per month rent in Tribeca on September 2 while his wife was at home. The medical examiner ruled his death as suicide.

A week before the Venezuelan immigrant and father of two took his own life, he was named in a $1.2 billion “pump-and-dump” lawsuit filed against the BBB and GameStop chairman Ryan Cohen and accused of artificially raising the stock price to cash.

Cohen amassed a $68.1 million profit by lowering his large stake on August 16, the same day as Arnal’s $20 limit order sale, according to the article. BBB’s share price lost half its value over the next three days.

Authorities at the scene after Gustavo Arnal jumped from the building.
Authorities at the scene after Gustavo Arnal jumped from the building.
Robert Miller

The company told The Journal that the lawsuit was deemed baseless, and an internal investigation found no evidence of fraud or collusion on Arnal’s part while revealing that the late financial executive had no one-on-one communication with Cohen, a billionaire investor activist. , according to the report.

In the months leading up to the stock sale and lawsuit, officers and directors at the home goods chain reportedly grew increasingly concerned about the lawsuits Arnal faced amid the company’s financial crisis, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bath & Beyond Beds, Inc. valued at $17 billion ten years ago but was worth less than $1 billion when Arnal took the job in May 2020.

Bed Bath & Beyond Store
The value of Bed Bath & Beyond began to drop drastically in 2019 when online shopping became king.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Cohen revealed in March he had a 10% stake in the company – which was swept away in meme-stock craze β€” and asked him to restructure. A number of senior executives left the BBB in the months that followed, but Arnal was one of the few to stay, according to the report.

On August 31, two days before his suicide, Arnal and other officials had announced the company had secured new financing and would close a fifth of its 800 stores while reducing costs by 20 percent.

At the time he was spending 18 hours a day on restructuring plans while also being bombarded with emails from individual investors and lawsuit claimants, friends and co-workers told the paper.

BBB leaders have considered replacing Arnal but do not want to make changes while he is raising money, according to the article. He is scheduled to speak with other executives about the possibility of “taking a break” from work after the Labor Day holiday, the report said.

Authorities at the scene after Gustavo Arnal jumped from the building.
The medical examiner ruled Arnal’s death a suicide.
Robert Miller

“I could see the pressure on him,” former Avon Products chief executive Jan Zijderveld told the paper after a dinner with Arnal and his wife that lasted until 1 a.m. six weeks ago in Manhattan.

Arnal reportedly told Zijderveld he was under pressure at work, but looked upbeat and upbeat as he burned the midnight oil.

“He’s the kind of guy who carries the world on his shoulders,” said Zijderveld.

β€œIt was 24/7, ‘Let’s fix this,’” he said. “He’s full of intensity. This is not the half-assed type of guy. ”

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or experiencing a mental health crisis and live in New York City, you can call 1-888-NYC-WELL for free and confidential crisis counseling. If you live outside the five boroughs, you can call the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 988 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

By Blanca

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