Sheriff reports Foremost Group CEO Angela Chao perishes as vehicle plunges into Texas pond

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Angela Chao

18th February 2024 – (Texas) Angela Chao, the esteemed CEO of Foremost Group and a prominent figure in international shipping, lost her life following a car accident in Blanco County, Texas. Authorities revealed on Friday that her vehicle was found submerged in a pond on a private ranch, leading to her untimely demise.

Ms. Chao, who had achieved notable success as a double Harvard graduate, took the helm of the dry bulk shipping company in 2018. Her leadership and vision had been instrumental in steering Foremost Group to new heights in the competitive global shipping industry.

The accident, which occurred on a ranch near Johnson City, about 40 miles west of Austin, was first reported to the local sheriff’s office last Saturday. In a statement, the office disclosed that upon arrival, deputies and emergency services faced the grim task of recovering Ms. Chao from the pond.

Despite immediate emergency measures, Ms. Chao could not be revived after being submerged in the water. The sheriff’s office has preliminarily ruled the incident as an unfortunate accident, with further investigations still underway. The name of the ranch has not been released to the public.

Ms. Chao’s familial connections include her sister Elaine Chao, married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Elaine Chao served in high-profile roles within the U.S. government as Secretary of Transportation under former President Donald Trump and as Secretary of Labor under former President George W. Bush.

The business acumen of Angela Chao extended beyond her leadership at Foremost Group. She had previously served on the board of the Bank of China and was a director of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation. Her influence also touched cultural and academic institutions, holding positions on the American Bureau of Shipping Council, the Board of Dean’s Advisors at Harvard Business School, and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Angela Chao’s husband, Jim Breyer, a venture capitalist based in Austin and part-owner of the Boston Celtics, is left to mourn her loss along with the rest of her family, who have expressed their deep heartache.

The emergency medical response team, as detailed by Blanco County EMS Chief Ben Oakley, arrived shortly after midnight on Sunday to a distressing scene. Despite efforts to resuscitate Ms. Chao for over 40 minutes, their attempts were in vain. The circumstances that led to the vehicle’s submersion remain unclear, and further details about the caller and property owner were not disclosed due to privacy considerations.

Ms. Chao’s father, James Chao, who founded Foremost Group in 1964, conveyed the family’s profound sorrow earlier this week, though they had not commented on the specifics of the accident at that time.

The business world has indeed lost a visionary leader, and Ms. Chao’s legacy will undoubtedly continue to influence the realms she touched so significantly. Her previous marriage to the late investment banker Bruce Wasserstein, who passed away in 2009, marked another chapter of her life characterised by personal and professional partnership.