​Boeing chief engineer Hamilton to retire this month

Boeing chief engineer John Hamilton is retiring after 35 years with the company and will be succeeded by Lynne Hopper, currently Boeing's vice-president of engineering for commercial airplanes.

Chicago-based Boeing, which first disclosed the news in a 4 December internal letter to employees, says Hamilton's retirement will take effect this month.

The employee letter notes that Hamilton's retirement was planned for last year, but that he stayed aboard to assist with the company's efforts to re-certificate the 737 Max.

"We asked him to stay on to help us with the 737 Max investigations and return to service," says the letter. "We are immensely grateful to John for lending his expertise and leadership during a very challenging time."

Hamilton started working for Boeing in 1984 as a design engineer and has since held many roles, including vice-president and chief project engineer for the 737 programme, and vice-president of safety, security and compliance.

From April 2016 to March 2019 he was vice-president of engineering for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and he became chief engineer in March 2019.

"John’s broad influence and commitment to engineering excellence will be felt for generations to come and we thank him for all of his contributions," says the employee letter.

Hopper, who will succeed Hamilton as chief engineer, became vice-president of engineering at Boeing Commercial Airplanes in March.

"In addition to leading the [Boeing Commercial Airplanes'] engineering team, she will continue to support our Max efforts and work closely with" the company's newly established Product and Services Safety division, the letter says.

Hopper has also been vice-president of Boeing test and evaluation, vice-president of engineering, modifications and maintenance in Boeing's services division, vice-president of material services for the commercial aircraft business, and vice-president of commercial airplanes customer support, according to Boeing.

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