Nationwide has selected Kirt Walker to serve as chief executive officer of the Ohio-based insurance and financial services company.
Walker assumes his new role on October 01, 2019, succeeding incumbent CEO Steve Rasmussen. Earlier this spring, Rasmussen announced that he would retire in the fall after 45 years with the company.
Walker has been serving Nationwide since 1986. He was most recently president and chief operating officer of Nationwide’s financial services business lines and spent 23 years in a variety of leadership roles such as president and chief operating officer of Nationwide’s property and casualty business, as well as president of Allied Insurance (Nationwide’s former independent agency subsidiary).
A release said that Walker was elected by the company board of directors “following an extensive search process.”
“Nationwide has enjoyed tremendous growth and momentum over the past 10 years with Steve at the helm. Kirt Walker has the unique experience and vision to build on that momentum and lead our company to new heights and a bright future,” commented Nationwide board chairman Tim Corcoran.
Corcoran added that the company is “well-positioned to grow its core businesses and continue to meet the future needs of [its] members and partners.”
To ensure a smooth transition, Walker will report to both Rasmussen and Corcoran until October, when Rasmussen steps down.
“I’m humbled and proud to lead this great company and iconic brand,” said Walker in a statement, who noted that he looks forward to working with Rasmussen, the board of the directors, and the rest of Nationwide’s executive leadership team.
“I often talk to our people about Nationwide’s unfair advantage over our competitors. It starts with our mutual heritage and our diverse portfolio, and it is fueled by our strong culture of caring for our members, partners, communities and each other. I’m incredibly optimistic about our future,” Walker remarked.