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Boeing's chief engineer who took over amid 737 MAX crisis retires

John Hamilton was named chief engineer of Boeing's Commercial Airplanes in March to help the company respond to the deadly 737 MAX crashes.

Boeing's Commercial Airplanes chief engineer, John Hamilton, is retiring after 35 years with the company. 

Boeing said in a statement Wednesday that Hamilton planned to retire last year but stayed on to help the company respond to the deadly 737 MAX crashes. He was named chief engineer in March and testified before Congress alongside CEO Dennis Muilenburg. 

"We are immensely grateful to John for lending his expertise and leadership during a very challenging time," read a statement released by Boeing.

Hamilton joined Boeing in 1984 as a design engineer and has since held various leadership roles, including vice president of Engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. In that role he was responsible for the effectiveness and efficiency of the engineering function across commercial airplanes. 

Hamilton also served as the vice president/chief engineer for the 737 programs with responsibility for the safety and product integrity of the airplane's design, according to his bio on Boeing's website.

Boeing said Lynne Hopper, vice president of Engineering for Commercial Airplanes, will take on the chief engineer role. She will also continue to support the company's 737 MAX response. 

The Boeing 737 MAX has been grounded since March after two crashes that killed 346 people. 

The Federal Aviation Administrator, Stephen Dickson, said last week the FAA will handle the review of all MAX jets built since the grounding, rather than delegating some of the work to Boeing employees. That's estimated to be more than 300 planes.

Dickson is expected to testify at a hearing before the House Transportation Committee later this month. 

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