April 23, 2018 / 5:29 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Australia's Myer names ex-House of Fraser head as new CEO; shares jump

* King’s hiring comes two months after pvs CEO Umbers stepped down

* Shares jump 5.6 pct (Adds share move, details of previous CEO’s departure)

April 23 (Reuters) - Australia’s Myer Holdings has hired John King, a former head of British retailer House of Fraser, as its new chief executive as the nation’s biggest department store struggles against Amazon.com Inc and other online competitors.

Shares of Myer were up about 5.6 percent on Monday after the announcement, compared to a 0.3 percent rise in the wider market .

King’s hiring comes two months after Myer announced the unexpected departure of its last chief executive, Richard Umbers, and a month after it posted its biggest half yearly loss since listing.

Umbers had stepped down in February amid calls for a revamp of the company’s board from several shareholders, including from billionaire retail investor Solomon Lew.

Once a retail heavyweight in the world’s 12th largest economy, Myer has seen its market capitalization shrink to less than a tenth of its 2009 listing value as it struggles to attract customers amid an explosion in online sales.

The 118-year old retailer’s woes have grown after Amazon.com made its first foray into Australia last year.

The S&P Dow Jones Indices has also excluded Myer from the benchmark Australian Index since last month. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru Editing by Byron Kaye and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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