Bed Bath & Beyond taps chief accounting officer as interim CFO after executive’s suicide

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Shoppers exit a Bed Bath & Beyond store in New York.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Bed Bath & Beyond on Tuesday tapped its chief accounting officer as interim CFO after the death of its former executive.

The retailer, which has had several recent leadership changes, said it named Laura Crossen as its interim chief financial officer as of Monday. Crossen will also continue as the company’s chief accounting officer, Beth Bath & Beyond said in a regulatory filing.

Former CFO Gustavo Arnal’s death was ruled a suicide by New York City’s medical examiner this weekend. Police said he fell to his death Friday from a skyscraper in downtown Manhattan.

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond were down by about 15% Tuesday morning as investors weighed the struggling retailer’s path forward. The company is looking for a new CEO after its board ousted Mark Tritton in June. It said last week that it would eliminate the jobs of chief operating officer and chief stores officer.

Sue Gove, a Bed Bath board member, has stepped in as interim CEO. She is founder of a retail consulting firm and has served in executive roles, including chief operating officer of jewelry company Zale.

 The home goods retailer is trying to turn around slowing sales and regain market share that it has lost to competitors. As it prepares for the holiday season, Bed Bath & Beyond announced last week that it had secured more than $500 million in new funding and laid out a new plan to manage costs, including layoffs and the closure of about 150 stores.

Bed Bath’s challenges are being compounded by a shift away from popular pandemic categories, such as home goods, as people spend on services like dining out and traveling again. Other retailers, including Walmart and Kohl’s, have also seen a pullback in discretionary categories as people spend more on food and necessities because of inflation.

Bed Bath’s same-store sales have continued to decline in recent months. Last week, the company said same-store fell declined 26% for the three-month period ended Aug. 27.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Laura Crossen’s name.

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