Bed Bath & Beyond names interim CFO after executive’s death

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Bed Bath & Beyond Inc named accounting head Laura Crossen as interim chief financial officer following the death of finance chief Gustavo Arnal, a regulatory filing showed on Tuesday.

Arnal fell from a New York skyscraper on Friday in what authorities later ruled a suicide.

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Crossen, a two-decade company veteran, steps into the interim CFO role a few months after she was named chief accounting officer at the struggling home-goods retailer.

Once known for providing shoppers with 20%-off coupons, Bed Bath & Beyond has seen its fortunes falter in recent years after its moves to revamp its shelves with more of its own private-label products flopped.

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The chain is now ditching that strategy to focus more on national brands, and last week said it would close 150 stores, and cut jobs in an attempt to turn around its money-losing business.

The company, as well as Arnal, were also sued on Aug. 23 over accusations of artificially inflating the firm’s stock price in a “pump and dump” scheme, with the lawsuit alleging Arnal sold off his shares at a higher price after the scheme.

The retailer said it was “in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge the company believes the claims are without merit.”

GameStop Corp Chairman Ryan Cohen, who was Bed Bath & Beyond’s biggest investor until August when he sold his entire 9.8% stake, was also named in the lawsuit.

Bed Bath & Beyond shares, a favorite among so-called “meme stock” retail traders, were down over 15% in morning trading.

Crossen, who will keep her a role as accounting chief, will get a $200,000 bump in her base salary, Bed Bath & Beyond said. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Anil D’Silva)

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