Foremost Group CEO Passes Away in Tragic Accident

Courtesy Foremost Group

Published Feb 12, 2024 1:09 PM by The Maritime Executive

Angela Chao, the CEO of Foremost Group, has passed away after a tragic car accident. 

Ms. Chao was the daughter of Dr. James S.C. Chao, Foremost Group's founder and honorary chairman. She attended Harvard College and Harvard Business School, earning a distinguished academic record (and contributing to HBS' curriculum). Before joining her father's company, she worked in M&A with the firm now known as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. After a series of executive roles at Foremost, she became CEO in 2018. 

Chao kept up a busy calendar of maritime advisory board appointments, contributing to the development of the industry as well as the running of her own company. She served as a board member on the American Bureau of Shipping Council and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s International Maritime Business Department, among other appointments. At various points in her career, her activities included board roles with NYCEDC, MoMA, the Metropolitan Opera, China State Shipbuilding Corporation, Harvard Business School, Bank of China, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and BIMCO. 

"Most importantly, Angela believed that the foundational element of success is the belief that shipping is not an asset finance business, but that it’s about people. She placed special emphasis on paying attention to the care and well-being of our crews, and to everyone onboard and onshore who played a role in performing our services," said Foremost Group in a statement.  

Ms. Chao is survived by her father and her five sisters, including Elaine Chao, former Secretary of Transportation.