Monday, September 5, 2022

Bed, Bath & Beyond CFO leaps to his death: Better to fail with honor than succeed by fraud


Rather fail with honor than succeed with fraud.


Gustavo Arnal, the Chief Financial Officer of Bed, Bath and Beyond, leaped to his death from the 18th story of a Manhattan office tower on Friday. He was 52 years old.

Arnal joined Beth, Bath & Beyond in 2020 and was well compensated. His 2021 income was $2.9 million.  Last month he sold company stock worth $1 million.

The shares of Bed, Bath & Beyond, where Arnal worked,  are labeled as a meme stock whose price has bounced around like a ping pong ball in recent months. As the stock gyrated up and down, some people got rich, and others lost a lot of money.

Arnal's death brings up images of the 1929 stock market crash when a few people jumped out of windows as their wealth evaporated over the course of a few hours.

No one can say with certainty why someone commits suicide, but it is always a response to despair.  My guess--and I think it is a good one--is that Gustavo Bernal was an honorable man who could not cope with a financial mess he did not create.

Perhaps he exemplifies Sophocles's observation that it is better to fail with honor than to succeed by fraud.

No comments:

Post a Comment