Tata Motors chief dies from Bangkok hotel fall

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SlymTata Motors Managing Director Karl Slym, head of the carmaker’s Indian operations, fell from a balcony on the 22nd floor of Bangkok’s Shangri-La Hotel and died in the early hours of January 26.

Police said they are investigating the case but ruled out murder in a note on January 27. It could have been either an accident or suicide. Reportedly, a letter has been found in Slym’s hotel room, but authorities haven’t determined who wrote it or whether it’s a suicide note. They are now waiting for the forensic-test results.

“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,” a police spokesperson said.

Slym, 51, has traveled to Bangkok to attend a board meeting of Tata Motors Thailand and checked in with his wife in the upscale Shangri-La Hotel at the banks of Chao Phraya river.

Tata Motors’ shares fell 3.4 per cent to 357.90 rupees as of 9:29am in Mumbai trading on January 27. For India’s biggest automaker by revenue, Slym’s death creates a leadership vacuum at the maker of the sub-$3,000 Nano car at a time when the country’s passenger-vehicle industry is bracing for its first fiscal year of declines in more than a decade.

Before joining Tata Motors, Slym was executive vice president of SGMW Motors, China, a General Motors joint venture. Before that he had headed General Motors in India.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Tata Motors Managing Director Karl Slym, head of the carmaker’s Indian operations, fell from a balcony on the 22nd floor of Bangkok’s Shangri-La Hotel and died in the early hours of January 26.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

SlymTata Motors Managing Director Karl Slym, head of the carmaker’s Indian operations, fell from a balcony on the 22nd floor of Bangkok’s Shangri-La Hotel and died in the early hours of January 26.

Police said they are investigating the case but ruled out murder in a note on January 27. It could have been either an accident or suicide. Reportedly, a letter has been found in Slym’s hotel room, but authorities haven’t determined who wrote it or whether it’s a suicide note. They are now waiting for the forensic-test results.

“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,” a police spokesperson said.

Slym, 51, has traveled to Bangkok to attend a board meeting of Tata Motors Thailand and checked in with his wife in the upscale Shangri-La Hotel at the banks of Chao Phraya river.

Tata Motors’ shares fell 3.4 per cent to 357.90 rupees as of 9:29am in Mumbai trading on January 27. For India’s biggest automaker by revenue, Slym’s death creates a leadership vacuum at the maker of the sub-$3,000 Nano car at a time when the country’s passenger-vehicle industry is bracing for its first fiscal year of declines in more than a decade.

Before joining Tata Motors, Slym was executive vice president of SGMW Motors, China, a General Motors joint venture. Before that he had headed General Motors in India.

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