by Burke Speaker | January 27, 2014 9:23 am
Tata Motors‘ (TTM) TTM stock is down nearly 6% following news its General Manager died in what police are calling a potential suicide.
Karl Slym, managing director of India’s Tata Motors, fell to his death on Sunday from his hotel room while in Thailand for a meeting with the company Thai unit.
Hotel staff found his body on the fourth floor, which sticks out from the lower levels. Slym had been staying on the 22nd floor with his wife.
Police say the window was small and he would have had to climb out of it in order to fall. Authorities also found a three-page note in English — that they said they were translating.
“We didn’t find any sign of a struggle,” Police Lieutenant Somyot Boonyakaew, who is heading the investigation, told Reuters.
A spokeswoman for Tata Motors, India’s biggest automaker, declined to comment on the possible cause of Slym’s death. A company statement on Sunday said Slym had provided leadership in a challenging market environment.
Slym was driving a turnaround in the company’s domestic operations. Investors worried about potential delays to these plans sent shares in Tata Motors down as much as 6.7 percent on Monday in a broader market that fell more than 2 percent. The stock ended 6 percent lower.
“He had been given a sort of free hand. For another professional to step in and enjoy the same confidence, with this same management, is difficult, it will take time,” said Deepesh Rathore, director of Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors, told Reuters.
Slym is a British national who was brought on in 2012 to help turn around Tata’s at-the-time dismal sales.
TTM stock is up 3.5% from last year.
Tata Motors is part of the sprawling software-to-steel Tata conglomerate.
Previously, Slym was executive vice president of SGMW Motors, China, a General Motors joint venture.
Prior to that he headed General Motors in India.
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