WORCESTER - When he became the first chairman of the board of The Hanover Insurance Group - then known as Allmerica Financial Corp. - in 2002, Michael P. Angelini became the leader of a struggling company selling life insurance, annuities, and property and casualty insurance.

Today, Hanover has become a leading national property and casualty insurance company with a strong international - and strong local - presence, and Mr. Angelini, 75, is saying farewell.

“I’d say I’m most proud of the fact that after being in the depths of real difficulties in 2002 ... we rescued the company, got it back on its feet, and it’s become a first-rate, very productive, very profitable company,” Mr. Angelini said Tuesday.

The Hanover Insurance Group announced Tuesday that Mr. Angelini has retired from its board of directors after more than 30 years of service to the company and its affiliates. The Hanover’s governance guidelines prohibit directors from continuing beyond age 75.

Mr. Angelini originally joined the board of a predecessor of The Hanover in 1984, but joined The Hanover’s board of directors in 1995. In 2002, he became the board’s first chairman.

It was an uncertain time for the company.

The company had just been restructured from a life and annuity business to focus on property and casualty insurance, and Mr. Angelini and three other executives essentially took over leadership of the company until the tenure of Frederick H. Eppinger began in August 2003.

Mr. Angelini continued as board chairman for roughly the next decade and a half, overseeing the board as the company expanded into a national company with an international reach.

“It’s a good job; it’s a lot of fun,” said Mr. Angelini of his role on the board. “You get to see things up close, interact with very bright and able people ... it’s intellectually engaging, you participate in helping to frame the strategies of the company, think about the priorities of the company. ... It’s by no means drudgery; it’s exciting, stimulating work, which is good.”

He was succeeded in 2017 by current board chair P. Kevin Condron.

“On behalf of our board of directors, I want to convey our most sincere appreciation to Mike,” Mr. Condron said in a statement. “He has provided extraordinary leadership in his role as board chair, taking the company public, overseeing one of the most successful corporate reorganizations in the property and casualty industry, managing through critical changes in company leadership, and ensuring the company’s continued success.”

President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hanover John C. Roche said he considers Mr. Angelini a mentor and leader. He praised Mr. Angelini’s dedication not just to shareholders, but to the culture of the company and the Worcester community.

“When we reflect on Mike’s contribution ... we think of the tireless champion that he’s been for the company as well as the culture he created,” Mr. Roche said Tuesday afternoon. “As chairman, he made sure we returned to our shareholders. But he instilled in us something beyond the shareholder viewpoint - to make a difference to the rest of our stakeholders, the community, and our employees.”

Although he may be retiring from the board, Mr. Angelini said he is not slowing down. He still practices law as chairman of Bowditch & Dewey, LLC, does pro-bono work, is active on the boards of various private organizations, and seems always to be involved in some community project - whether it's the Worcester public schools’ strategic plan or the effort to bring the Pawtucket Red Sox to Worcester.

“While I’m retiring from the board, I don’t consider this a retirement from life, work and community engagement,” Mr. Angelini said.

Mr. Roche echoed this sentiment.

“He’s retiring from our board but not retiring from anything else,” Mr. Roche said. “There’s almost nothing that goes on in this town that Mike isn’t a part of. ... He’s a quiet leader within the Worcester community that makes things happen.”