Bed Bath & Beyond Has New Legal Head as it Seeks Sales Revival

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc.which is struggling to reverse more than a year of plunging sales, has a new top lawyer, according to the company’s website.

David Kastin is listed on the home goods retailer’s corporate governance and executive management webpage as chief legal officer and corporate secretary. His name takes the place of Arlene Hong, who joined the company more than two years ago as its chief legal and compliance officer.

Hong’s name last appeared on a Beth Bath & Beyond securities filing late last month. Kastin on his LinkedIn page said he started his new legal chief role earlier this month. The company didn’t respond to a comment request.

The legal leadership change comes less than two months after Bed Bath & Beyond named Sue Gove its permanent CEO in October. She took over the role on an interim basis after the company’s board ousted her predecessor, Mark Tritton, in June.

Union, NJ-based Bed Bath & Beyond said in September it would close and liquidate 56 stores after hiring Kirkland & Ellis as restructuring counsel in August. The company burned through cash and reached several debt-for-equity swaps with bondholders in November as it struggled with a sales slump and inventory issues.

In September, Bed Bath & Beyond also named an interim chief financial officer in Laura Crossen following the death of former finance chief Gustavo Arnal. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Arnal—who was working on Bed Bath & Beyond’s turnaround plan—died by suicide.

New Legal Chief

Kastin is a former general counsel at retailer Vitamin Shoppe Inc. and gym chain owner Town Sports International Holdings Inc. He most recently was the top lawyer for hemp and pharmaceutical cannabis producer Clever Leaves International Inc.

He didn’t respond to a comment request.

Hong, a former top lawyer for clothing retailers J. Crew Group Inc. and Fullbeauty Brands Inc., spent four years at Amazon.com Inc. and two years as legal chief for e-commerce retailer Ideeli Inc. prior to joining Bed Bath & Beyond in May 2020.

She didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Hong was not one of the company’s five highest-paid executives during fiscal 2021, according to its most recent proxy statement. The proxy filing noted that Winston & Strawn advises the compensation committee of Bed Beth & Beyond’s board.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton counseled Bed Bath & Beyond earlier this year on an agreement with Ryan Cohen’s RC Ventures that gave the activist investor three seats on its board. Cohen, however, exited his stake in the retailer in August, sparking a sell-off in Bed Bath & Beyond stock.

Cleary and Delaware’s Richards, Layton & Finger handled a securities registration for Bed Bath & Beyond in November. Baker McKenzie, Genova Burns, and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis were Canadian, New Jersey, and Tennessee counsel, respectively, to the company on that matter.

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