A Twitter account goes silent and the whole Twitter fraternity goes abuzz almost at the same time. @KarlSlym was moderately active on Twitter and when his news of sudden fall to death in a freak accident in Bangkok hit Twitter hundreds of tweets started happening every minute. Karl Slym, the Managing Director of Tata Motors Limited company’s death was announced by Tata Motors – “Tata Motors deeply regrets to announce the untimely and tragic demise of its managing director, Karl Slym, in Bangkok earlier today. Karl Slym was in Bangkok to attend a meeting of the board of directors of Tata Motors Thailand Ltd.” The official statement says nothing about the cause of death.
Karl Slym was doing major re-engineering of Tata Motors and was completing overhauling the way one of India’s most famous and pioneering automotive companies worked. The projects which were underway were focused towards ensuring economies and better time to market for new projects. One of the most important projects underway was to streamline sourcing from a business-line based approach to a part based approach across the organization.
Cyrus Pallonji Mistry, Chairman of Tata Sons and also Chairman of Tata Motors is going to find it extremely tough to fill the void left by Karl Slym. Tata Motors has been facing huge slide in its market-share in cars in India and this sudden exit can only make things more difficult. There is a possibility of Ravi Kant, former MD of Tata Motors, stepping back into the role he has handled before, even though it maybe a stopgap arrangement.
It is so ironical that Karl Slym’s Twitter profile says “Britisher who just can’t stay away from India!!” passes away suddenly in Bangkok. May his soul rest in peace and prayers for the family he has left behind.