UPDATE 1-Refiner HollyFrontier to bring back Jennings as CEO

(Adds details, analyst comment)

Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. refiner HollyFrontier Corp has tapped former Chief Executive Officer Michael Jennings to replace George Damiris, who will retire at the end of the year.

Jennings, 54, was the chief executive of Frontier Oil Corp from 2009 until its merger with Holly in July 2011 and became the first chief of the combined company. He has also served as chairman of the board of HollyFrontier.

Damiris joined HollyFrontier in January 2016 after an 18-year career with Koch Industries, where he managed various refining, chemical, trading and financial businesses.

“We don’t expect a major strategic shift with Jennings back at the helm,” said Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co analyst Matthew Blair.

Investors, however, will be keen to hear Jennings’ thoughts on challenges the company faces, Blair added, particularly on the future of Holly Energy Partners LP where distribution growth has slowed down.

Until Damiris’ retirement, Jennings will serve as executive vice president, HollyFrontier said on Friday.

The company also named John Harrison as senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Holly Logistic Services, starting Jan. 1.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila