Tata Motors manager dies in Thailand image

Karl Slym, managing director of India’s Tata Motors Ltd, died after falling from a hotel room in Bangkok in what police said on Monday could be a possible suicide.

Slym, 51, had attended a board meeting of Tata’s Thailand unit in the Thai capital and was staying with his wife in a room on the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La hotel. Hotel staff found his body on Sunday on the fourth floor, which juts out above lower floors.

“We didn’t find any sign of a struggle,” Police Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakaew, who is heading the investigation, told reporters. “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.”

The police found a three-page note, written in English, which they were translating into Thai. An autopsy on Slym’s body should begin on Monday.

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, a British national, was hired in 2012 to revive Tata’s flagging sales and market share in India.

Slym led the automaker’s operations in India and international markets including South Korea, Thailand and South Africa, but he did not look after the Jaguar and Land Rover (JLR) luxury unit that Tata Motors acquired in 2008.