UK & World News

  • 28 January 2014, 3:11

Tata Motors Boss Karl Slym In 'Suicide Jump'

Police are treating the death of the British managing director of Tata Motors as a suspected suicide.

Investigators in Thailand say there are no signs of foul play after Karl Slym, 51, fell from a hotel room window in Bangkok on Sunday.

Mr Slym was staying on the 22nd floor of the Shangri-La Hotel with his wife after attending a board meeting in the Thai capital.

Hotel staff found his body on the fourth floor and a three-page note was later discovered by police.

Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakaew, who is heading the investigation, said: "We didn't find any sign of a struggle.

"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."

Thai police were called to the hotel at about 7.45am on Sunday after staff found Mr Slym's body.

They woke his wife, who is reported to have looked shocked when she was told what had happened.

A post-mortem examination on the body should begin later on Monday.

Mr Slym, originally from Derby, was hired by India's largest car maker in 2012 to revive flagging sales and market share in the country.

He ran all Tata Motors' operations except the British car maker Jaguar Land Rover, which the firm bought in 2008.

Anil Sharma, an analyst with researchers IHS Automotive, said: "His death comes at a time when the company seems to be close to turning the corner.

"It comes before his efforts bear fruit. We should be able to see the results in a year or two."

Worried investors sent shares in Tata Motors down as much as 6.7% at one point on Monday in a broader market that fell more than 2%. The stock ended 6% lower.

Tata chairman Cyrus P Mistry said: "(Mr Slym 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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