Re: isnt making
'lean' isn't necessarily a precursor to sell-off. It's more likely just standard operations.
a) you hire a boatload of people [usually as contractors] to perform a specific task, like product bring-up.
b) once their task is complete they're "let go" [unless you have some other task to do]
c) you enter 'maintenance mode' on this newly brought up "thing", which has a smaller staff focused on different *kinds* of things.
d) sometimes you bring back or laterally transfer laid off "development" engineers to do the "maintenance" phase but it's going to be a smaller number of people, regardless.
It's the way engineering works. I've dealt with this as a contractor for a very, very, long time. You have to plan for it and work with it, not against it. Sometimes a successful project looks SO good you're snagged up by the next guy very quickly.
However, in Cali-fornicate-you at this time, things aren't so good (I'm avoiding the explanation as to why, though it involves the 2018 election results, among other things). So it might mean "re-locate to Texas" for those guys. I'm actually looking at that possibility myself...
In any case, if you want the 'big bucks' being on the cutting edge of engineering (in this case, rocket science), it comes with short-term and long-term contracts and occasional layoffs.
/me points out, most specifically for the millenials, that a job is *NOT* an entitlement. It is an agreed upon fair exchange of work for money, and is NOT a guarantee. Competition determines who gets hired and who gets fired, like a form of 'natural selection'. You can call this 'social Darwinism' if you want to. Because it _IS_. And, it is as things SHOULD be.