Angela Chao, CEO of US-based shipping company Foremost Group, dead at 50


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Angela Chao, the CEO of United States-based, New York-headquartered American shipping company Foremost Group, has died at the age of 50.

What happened: The company announced the news on Monday, noting that Chao, the sister of businesswoman and former government official Elaine Chao, died in a tragic car accident. Foremost Group did not elaborate on the details of her death in the press release.

Her father, Dr. James S. C. Chao, and her mother, Ruth Mulan Chu Chao, founded the Foremost Group in 1964 that focuses on shipping dry bulk products to markets worldwide.

What they’re saying: In a statement, Foremost Group noted that Chao was a passionate advocate “for incorporating environmentally sustainable practices throughout the company’s operations,” which made the company’s fleet become “some of the largest, most modern, and eco-friendly ships in the world.”

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James Chao said in a different statement on behalf of their family that Chao was academically gifted, hardworking and possessed strong core values. She also helped inspire others to pursue their dreams as a trailblazer for women in the executive suite.

Her work: A graduate of Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA in business/commerce from the Harvard Business School, Chao began working for Foremost Group in 1996.

She was appointed as senior vice president from 2001 to 2008, where she focused on ship operations and management before being promoted to deputy chair in 2009. Chao became the CEO in 2018.

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Outside the company: Besides her time with the company, Chao also served as a board member of the American Bureau of Shipping Council and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s International Maritime Business Department advisory board and on the chairman’s council of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Chao was also The Asian American Foundation’s advisory council co-chair.

Condolences: The U.S. Coast Guard Academy offered its deepest condolences to Chao’s family in post on X on Tuesday, highlighting how the Foremost Group executive was “a trailblazer in the maritime industry and a true friend of the Academy.”

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The Asian American Foundation also offered its condolences to the family, writing in part that the foundation was “heartbroken to learn of the devastating death” of Chao, “A brilliant and committed leader.”

 

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