A day after Tata Motors managing director Karl Slym died in a Bangkok hotel after falling from the 22nd floor of the building, Thailand police investigating the case indicated he may have committed suicide due to domestic discord on the basis of a three-page suicide note that was found in his room.
"We didn't find any sign of struggle," said police lieutenant Somyot Boonyakaew, who is heading the investigation. "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 said the initial belief among the investigators was that Slym killed himself because the suicide note contained a reference to domestic problems. He said police were analysing the letter to confirm if it was written by Slym.
The letter was found in the room where Slym and his wife Sally had checked in on January 24. They were slated to check out and return to India on Sunday evening.
Slym's body was found on the fourth floor of Shangri-La hotel early morning on Sunday . He was in Thailand to attend a board meeting of the company's subsidiary in the country.
An autopsy was conducted on Monday and the initial report suggested severe damage to the body. Institute of Forensic Medicine chief Pornchai Sutheerakhun said the results showed that the skull of the victim was broken and that his brain and inner organs were severely destroyed.
Slym's wife was with him in the room and was woken by hotel staff on Sunday morning after his body was found. She has been distraught and Tata Motors officials are with her.
Slym was leading Tata Motors at a time when the auto industry was grappling with a prolonged slowdown. He joined the auto major in 2012 as part of a major management overhaul and was responsible for charting the company's strategy to regain momentum in the Indian market.
His stint in India began in 2007 when he was appointed as the president and managing director of General Motors India. Last year, Slym found himself in the spotlight after a government panel held GM guilty of corporate fraud in the case of recall of its multi utility vehicle Tavera. The government probe had said GM officials had collaborated in fudging technical specifications of the engine to meet emission norms and the top management of the firm were aware of it.
Karl Slym had given an interview to HT in October, 2012 when he took over as the managing director of Tata Motors. To read the interview go to: People are still the key to any business, says Karl Slym