Yuan “James” Chao ’74

Chairman of the Board
Westlake Chemical
Houston, Texas

Mr. Chao is chairman of the board of directors of Westlake Chemical Corp., a leading Houston-based petrochemical and plastics concern founded, owned, and controlled by the Chao family. The company was founded in 1986 by Mr. Chao; his brother, Albert Chao ’72; and their father, Ting Tsung “T.T.” Chao, a prominent figure in the petrochemical industry in Asia and the United States.

Mr. Chao has been chairman of Westlake Chemical since 2004. He was previously vice chairman from 1996 to 2004 and, before that, was the company’s first president from 1986 to 1996. Prior to the establishment of Westlake, he served as a special assistant to the chairman of China General Plastics Group, another plastics and petrochemical company his father founded in Taiwan.

In 2010, Mr. Chao and his brother established the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professorship of Business. The Tsung and Chao Professorship has not yet been awarded.