COLUMBUS, Ohio, July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Nationwide Chief Executive Officer W. G. Jurgensen today announced a new leadership team for the company's property casualty and small commercial operations, following the announced retirement of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company President Galen R. Barnes. Three of Nationwide's property casualty businesses - Nationwide Insurance, Allied Insurance and Farmland Insurance - are now aligned through a new office under the leadership of Stephen S. Rasmussen, who has been elected president and chief operating officer of Property Casualty Insurance Operations. Rasmussen formerly served as president and chief operating officer for Allied Insurance. Included in this new organization are Douglas C. Robinette, newly elected president for Nationwide Insurance Operations, filling the post formerly held by Barnes; and Kirt A. Walker, newly elected president for Allied. In a related move, Donna A. James was elected president of Nationwide Strategic Investments, a corporate entity, assuming responsibility for affiliates GatesMcDonald, Nationwide Advantage Mortgage Company, Nationwide Health Plans and for the Strategic Investment Fund, which seeks financial returns and strategic opportunities by investing in financial services and related technology companies. "These assignments position the next generation of Nationwide leaders," Jurgensen said. "They have been selected not only for their technical expertise, but for their ability to work collaboratively to increase Nationwide's overall value while remaining focused on meeting our customers' needs." Rasmussen began his career with Allied in 1974. He has held various management positions and was elected Allied president in 2001. Under his leadership, the company sustained significant profitable growth. Established in 1929, Allied operates primarily west of the Mississippi through a network of more than 3,600 independent agents. Robinette most recently held the positions of president of Nationwide Strategic Investments and executive vice president in the Office of Corporate Strategy, in which he served as chief strategic officer and led Nationwide's strategic planning functions. Previously, he was the Nationwide Insurance senior vice president for claims. He has been with Nationwide for 17 years and has served in numerous executive roles. Walker has been regional vice president for Allied's Pacific Coast Regional Office since 1998. His association with Allied began in 1986, and he has held a number of leadership positions, including regional vice president of the Rocky Mountain Regional Office. James most recently served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Nationwide, responsible for corporate functions that included human resources, corporate communications, philanthropy and corporate real estate. She has been with Nationwide since 1981 and has held many leadership positions. In addition, Jurgensen also announced the election of two additional direct reports to the CEO. Kathleen D. Ricord was elected executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Nationwide corporate. In this newly created position, Ricord will be responsible for corporate marketing, public relations, advertising, communications, philanthropy and customer relations for all Nationwide companies. Ricord most recently served as the Nationwide Insurance senior vice president for marketing and strategy. Terri L. Hill has been elected executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Nationwide corporate. She will assume responsibility for human resources, corporate real estate and aviation for all Nationwide companies. Terri most recently served as senior vice president for human resources and operations for Nationwide's Scottsdale Insurance affiliate. Nationwide, with world headquarters in Columbus, offers a broad range of personal and commercial insurance, retirement-savings and asset management products. Nationwide is ranked 111th on the Fortune 500 and includes the country's seventh-largest property/casualty insurance group based on premium and the 11th-largest life insurance company based on assets. Its Web site is www.nationwide.com .