Around Asia: Tata Motors’ Karl Slym “may have jumped to his death” at Bangkok hotel

In Other News - January 28th, 2014

Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym is believed to have committed suicide when he fell from the 22nd floor of a Bangkok hotel Sunday, Thai police said.

Slym, a British executive for India’s largest automaker, was in Thailand to attend a board meeting of the company’s local affiliate when he apparently jumped to his death from his hotel room at the Shangri-La Hotel.

Staff at the hotel found Slym’s body on the fourth floor on Sunday.

Investigators said they “didn’t find any signs of struggle” in the hotel room Slym was sharing with his wife. Police initially thought Slym may have slipped when they found an open window but ruled that out since the window was too small.

“He would have had to climb through the window to fall out because he was a big man. From my initial investigation, we believed he jumped,” Thai police officer Somyot Boonyakaew told Reuters.

Authorities have found a suicide letter at the scene and was confimed to bear Slym’s handwriting.

Slym’s wife was asleep in the room at the time of his death but was too shocked to answer questions on Monday.

Tata Motors refused to comment on the cause of his death. Company chairman Cyrus P Mistry paid tribute to Slym in a statement, saying he was “a valued colleague who was providing strong leadership at a challenging time for the Indian auto industry.”

Slym joined the automaker in 2012 and led the carmaker’s operations in India and international markets including South Korea, Thailand and South Africa.

Tata Motors’ stock briefly dropped more than 5% Monday, according to The Nikkei.

By Maesie Bertumen