Re: Just to play devil's advocate here
> Except that it's the people with greater knowledge and experience who tend to survive layoffs, because most rational businesses recognise that they need those people most when they are under pressure.
This is SO wrong my eyes are bleeding. You clearly have never sat in on any large corporate's senior mgt's decisions. Typically the name of the game is maximising your own headcount while toeing the line of shedding costs, so you sort your payroll in descending $order and draw a line across the page far enough down to add up to your required cost-reduction. Everyone above the line gets fired.
Seen it bloody done, mate. Several times.
Capital-C Corporates are NOT rational. They are an internally-directed GAME played by PARASITES using the original company as a HOST.
And yes, the host dies. Compared to what it was, should have been, or sometimes just entirely.
The game-players simply move their game to a new host.
A VERY common pattern in tech.Corporates is for hightech or highR&D or similarly long-sighted industry leaders who achieved that status by actually Creating Value, to mysteriously have all their core competencies' profits shrivel to nothing over time after the founders leave/are bounced, whilst the new leaders valiantly save the ship by turning its focus to M&S/growthbyacquisition on the one hand, but more importantly Professional Services on the other.
(Not necessarily or always professional services ; but the replacement WILL be purely linear and WILL be donkeywork by comparison.
eg HP, now a forwardlooking cuttingedge world champion of... mass-producing printers ink.)