Friends of the late Bed Bath & Beyond Executive Gutavo Arnal are posting on social media with condolences and disbelief, calling his suicide, after he jumped off of Manhattan’s “Jenga building,” “inexplicable.”
“I’m still in shock,” friend Yelitza Salazar wrote in Spanish on Facebook, describing Arnal as “one of those people you follow as an example to follow — successful, intelligent.”
“Definitely, no one knows what we carry inside,” Salazar wrote. “God give his family much strength and resignation. … Inexplicable.”
Another friend, Rocke Aguilera, called Arnal a “friend of my whole life.”
“You don’t know with how much pain I receive this news,” Aguilera wrote in Spanish. “I love you very much my friend. Your journey through this world enriched many lives, and here we are celebrating you. Rest in peace.”
Arnal, the chief financial officer of BB&B and a native of Venezuela, was 52 when he jumped to his death early Friday morning from his 18th-floor apartment in the architecturally famous building in Tribeca. Police state that his wife was home at the time of his suicide.
Arnal’s suicide came as his company was embroiled in heavy financial difficulties and two weeks after he was targeted, along with several others, in a class-action $1.2 billion stock fraud lawsuit.
In addition, Arnal had sold 55,013 shares in Bed Bath & Beyond, Reuters reported Sunday; and shortly after, Bed Bath & Beyond announced that they planned to close 150 stores and lay off about 20% of its 32,000 workers as part of a restructuring plan to boost its business, which was losing money.
Aguilera, responding to a mutual friend on Facebook after Arnal’s death, wrote, “Do you remember this: All the ‘rolls’ we got into when we were trying to get rich in the stock exchange in Venezuela? The three of us dreaming and fighting to make those dreams come true.”
“I remember a young man with a beautiful smile” and “gigantic intellectual capacity, with a knowledge of mathematics that came through his pores,” wrote Catherine Jones, a former student of Arnal while he was a middle school math teacher in Venezuela.
Police said Arnal did not leave a suicide note and leaves behind a wife and two adult daughters.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.