51-year-old Slym's body was found by the staff of a five-star hotel on the balcony of the fourth floor after plunging from the 22nd floor. He was here to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Thai subsidiary of his company. (Agencies)
Police found an apparent suicide note at the scene which has been sent for analysis to confirm that it was written by Slym.
“Initially, we can only assume that he committed suicide," a police officer said.
Police Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakeow said the initial belief among the investigators was that Slym killed himself because the three-page suicide note contained a reference to domestic problems. He said the police officials were analyzing the letter to confirm whether it was written by Slym.
He said there were no signs of a struggle in the British national's room, which did not have a balcony but had a big sealed glass window and another smaller window that could be opened.
Slym's body was identified by a Tata Motors official, said sources. An autopsy was scheduled for later today.
The executive's wife may later take the body to Britain, sources said. Boonyakeow said Slym's wife will also be interviewed.
Police ruled out murder as the cause of the death of Slym, who allegedly fell out of a window of his room at the riverside Shangri-la Hotel. Officials told the media that the window was small and "he had to try hard to get through it".
The hand-written note was reportedly found in the room which Slym and his wife checked into on January 24. They were to check out on Monday.
The note is also being translated into Thai as part of the investigation, officials said.
Slym's wife was with him in the room and was woken by hotel staff on Monday morning after they found his body on the fourth floor. 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.
Expressing condolences at the sudden demise, Tata Motors Chairman Cyrus P Mistry yesterday said: "Karl (Slym) joined us in October 2012, and 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."
As part of a restructuring exercise, Slym last week announced a voluntary retirement scheme for a section of employees to rationalize costs.
In December, domestic car sales declined 4.52 percent from a year earlier to 1, 32,561 units. Tata Motors' sales fell about 42 percent to 6,537 units last month.
Total sales of commercial vehicles were down 25.53 percent to 46,757 units. The company's commercial vehicle sales dropped 45.83 percent to 25,738 units.
Before joining Tata Motors, Slym was the executive vice president, SGMW Motors, China (a General Motors Joint Venture). Prior to that, he was president, managing director and board member of General Motors in India during 2007-11.
For over two decades, Slym was with Toyota and General Motors in various positions across geographies.
51-year-old Slym's body was found by the staff of a five-star hotel on the balcony of the fourth floor after plunging from the 22nd floor. He was here to attend a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Thai subsidiary of his company.