(Bloomberg) — Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. promoted its chief accountant to interim chief financial officer following the death of former chief financial officer Gustavo Arnal.
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Laura Crossen, the company’s senior vice president of finance and chief accounting officer, has taken the position, Bed Bath & Beyond said in a statement Tuesday. He will continue as chief accountant.
Arnal, the former CFO, fell to his death on September 2 from a Manhattan skyscraper. Shares of the home goods retailer were down 14% at 10:35 a.m. in New York on the first day of trading after the news broke over the US Labor Day weekend.
Crossen has worked at Bed Bath & Beyond for more than two decades, the company said in June when she was promoted from her position as senior vice president of finance, tax and financial transformation to director of accounting. Before joining Bed Bath & Beyond, she was an executive at Delia’s, a clothing retailer focused on teenage girls, and also worked at what was then Ernst & Young.
Bed Bath & Beyond executives are trying to turn around the company, which is burning through cash and has reported significant sales declines. Several top executives have left the company recently: Former CEO Mark Tritton left in June, and last week the general manager and store manager left after their roles were eliminated. Board member Sue Gove is serving as CEO on an interim basis as the company searches for a permanent replacement for Tritton.
That left Bed Bath & Beyond short of longtime executives to guide the company through the financial and market turmoil it has faced in recent months. Crossen will also need to finish preparing the company’s second quarter results, which are due to be announced on September 29. Last week, the company warned investors that it expects to report a 26% decline in comparable sales compared to the year-ago period.
The Union, New Jersey-based company confirmed Sept. 4 that Arnall, 52, had died. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office ruled the death a suicide, according to the New York Times.
Arnal was among the Bed Bath & Beyond executives who provided details last Wednesday of the company’s turnaround plan, which included cutting 20 percent of jobs in corporate and supply chain operations and closing about 150 lower-end stores. production. The plan also called for new financing and the sale of up to 12 million shares to boost liquidity as it struggles to survive.
Arnal joined the retailer in May 2020 as it navigated the pandemic. He was previously with Avon Products Inc., Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co.
“The entire Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. organization. is deeply saddened by this shocking loss,” the company said in a statement over the weekend.
(Updates stock trading and adds company’s earnings report date. An earlier version of this story corrected the date the company issued a statement confirming Arnal’s death.)
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