Tata Motors top executive dies from fall in Thailand; police suspect suicide

Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:14pm EST
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By Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Aradhana Aravindan

BANGKOK/MUMBAI (Reuters) - Karl Slym, managing director of India's biggest automaker Tata Motors Ltd (TAMO.NS: Quote), died after falling from a hotel room in Bangkok in what police said on Monday may have been suicide.

Slym, 51, a British citizen, had attended a board meeting of Tata Motors' Thailand unit in Bangkok 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 storeys of the complex.

"We didn't find any sign of a struggle," Police Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakaew, heading the investigation, told Reuters.

"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."

Boonyakaew said police found a three-page note, written in English to Slym by his wife, which they were translating into Thai. "The wife wrote the note because she wanted her husband to know some personal things ... Yes, they did argue," he said after speaking with her.

The couple had been married for about 30 years and had no children.

Thai police said they were called to the Shangri-La hotel around 7:45 a.m. on Sunday after staff found Slym's body. They woke up Slym's wife, who looked shocked when she was told what had happened to her husband.

An autopsy on Slym's body was conducted on Monday, police said without elaborating.   Continued...

Karl Slym, managing director of Tata Motors, looks on during a news conference to announce their second quarter results in Mumbai November 8, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui