Who decides who to lay off? It's obviously somebody who has no idea who the employees are and how much they do and only sees us as numbers. If this wasn't true, then we would have lost the real dead weight (and we have plenty of those) and not some of the best employees this company had. What happened here escapes logic.
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But "this wasn't financially driven"
Dead weight should be ditched when everything else is going great. Reductions are when it's time to reduce salaries, and starting with the largest ones you can afford to lose, knowledge-wise, is always the way to go. It means letting go of FAR fewer people.
And yes, it feels bad, man. But that's just the way it is.