Tata Motors MD left suicide note, say Thai Police

Tata Motors MD left suicide note, say Thai Police

Karl Slym, managing director of Tata Motors, who died under mysterious circumstances in a five-star hotel here on Sunday, may have committed suicide, the Thai Police have said.

Slym’s body was found by staff on a balcony on the fourth floor of the hotel after he plunged to his death from the 22nd floor. He was in Bangkok to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Thai subsidiary of his company.

Police have found an apparent suicide note at the scene, which has been sent for analysis and translation into Thai for investigation. “Initially, we can only assume that he committed suicide,” a police officer said.

The handwritten note was reportedly found in the room which Slym and his wife of 30 years had checked into on January 24. They were to check out on Sunday.
Pornchai Suteerakune, who heads the Institute of Forensic Medicine, told reporters that Slym was killed by the fall from the 22nd floor. An autopsy on Slym’s body was to begin on Monday.

Police have ruled out murder and believe that Slym fell out of the window of his room at the riverside Shangri-la Hotel. Officials told media that the window was small and “he had to try hard to get through it”.

Police Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakeow said there were no signs of a struggle in the British national’s room, which did not have a balcony but had a big sealed glass window and another smaller window that could be opened.

“We found a window open. The window was very small so it was not possible that he would have slipped. He would have had to climb through the window to fall out because he was a big man. From my initial investigation we believe he jumped.”

Slym’s body was identified by a Tata Motors official and the executive's wife may later take the body to Britain, sources said. Boonyakeow said Slym's wife will also be interviewed.

A spokeswoman for Tata Motors, India's biggest automaker, declined to comment on the possible cause of Slym's death.

A company statement on Sunday said Slym had provided leadership in a challenging market environment.

Slym was leading Tata Motors at a time when the auto industry was grappling with prolonged slowdown.He joined the auto major in 2012 as part of a major management overhaul and was responsible for charting the company's strategy to regain momentum in the Indian market.

Condoling Slym’s sudden demise, Tata Motors Chairman Cyrus P Mistry on Sunday said: “Karl (Slym) joined us in October 2012, and was a valued colleague who was providing strong leadership at a challenging time for the Indian auto industry. In this hour of grief, our thoughts are with Karl’s wife and family.”

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