hunts marketing chief to lead UK launch, the US electronics online retailer which is looking for a stock market valuation of almost &£2bn when it floats early this year, is searching for a head of consumer marketing.

The appointee will lead the UK launch of the site in one of the first initiatives of News Corporation’s eVentures, the Internet launch vehicle jointly-formed with the Softbank Corporation of Japan to launch US Internet operations in the UK.

The company had originally set January for’s UK launch date. However, a spokesman says: “We have always said it will launch in the first quarter.”

It is not known if the delay, which comes as e-commerce investors await the much-hyped Christmas Internet retail sales figures, has been caused by a frustrated search for candidates to build a launch team. The team is also short of a head of customer relations, a head of advertising sales, and a financial controller.

Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R was appointed to handle advertising for the launch, worth an estimated &£10m, in November.

In the US, the site, which sells a range of computer equipment, books, videos, games and music, has enjoyed huge success and built a reputation among Internet investors for growth potential second only to Amazon.

Last year, it also formed a joint venture with United Airlines to sell travel services.

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