Columbus, Ohio-based insurer Nationwide said Kirt Walker, a 33-year company veteran, will become its next chief executive officer.
Plans call for Walker to take over the CEO slot on Oct. 1, 2019. He will succeed current CEO Steve Rasmussen, who announced earlier in the spring that he would retire in the fall after 10 years leading the giant insurer.
“I’m humbled and proud to lead this great company and iconic brand,” said Walker, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide’s financial service business lines since 2009.
Nationwide said that its board of directors chose Walker for the CEO position after a search process.
Walker has worked for the Nationwide companies for 33 years. Beyond his current role, he served 23 years in the property/casualty business, including as president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Insurance and president of Allied Insurance, Nationwide’s former independent agency subsidiary.
Walker will report to Rasmussen and Chairman Tim Corcoran until October, Nationwide said.
Walker, in prepared remarks, said he was looking forward to helping shape Nationwide’s future.
“I often talk to our people about Nationwide’s unfair advantage over our competitors,” Walker said. “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.”
Current CEO Rasmussen has been in charge at Nationwide since February 2009, and has spent his 45-year career at the insurer’s family of companies. He was president and chief operating officer of the company’s property/casualty insurance division from 2003 to 2009. He first joined Nationwide in 1998 as a result of the merger with Allied Insurance, where he served as president and chief operating officer. He joined Allied in 1974.
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