I managed a department through what was, at that time, the largest chapter 11 bankruptcy in the computer industry. I laid off dozens and dozens of people, people I cared for. And if they asked me, privately, if they were on one of the endless lists of layoffs, I let them know without ‘telling them’ (corporate was paranoid of the repercussions). I lost a $25 piece of equipment in total in two years.
If you’re a good manager, and if you’re a good company, you’ll find ways to avoid this petty crap. If you’re a crappy manager, you’ll fall back on the old canard of “Well it’s better to make it quick.” No, it’s not better, it’s just easier than trying to do the hard work of being a manager who knows his people, and partners with his workers. This is a bush league move, and BMW deserves to have egg on it’s face.
I am also out of the electronics industry. Went through a layoff where I had to cut back some of my people. I lost a $30,000.00 design from one ticked off designer. So the coin flips two ways doesn’t it? Each company is different and operates in a manner they believe is best for them. I will say that this was a complete surprise to me. I had the best design staff on the west coast and we were all friends and they were payed higher than any other designers in the company.