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 was later ruled a suicide by authorities.

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Crossen, who has worked at Bed Bath & Beyond for more than two decades, steps into the interim role at a tumultuous time for the struggling home-goods retailer.

The big-box chain has seen its fortunes falter after an attempt to sell more of its own brand, or private label, goods. The COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain crunch and consumer pullback on shopping due to sky-high inflation also hit the chain’s sales.

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Last week, Bed Bath & Beyond said it would close 150 stores, cut jobs and overhaul its merchandising strategy 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 company said it was “in the early stages of evaluating the complaint, but based on current knowledge the company believes the claims are without merit.”

The retailer’s share were down over 14% in morning trading. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Anil D’Silva)

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