Re: You answered your own question
Agreed. I thought for a moment that IBM was moving on differently, what with Watson and all. Seems on this evidence they are still a behemoth run by broad brush top line figures (what's the quickest way to cut X% of wage bill, etc) rather than insight.
Would have been better to turn the Watson engine to analysing the performance of the staff and contractors and cutting accordingly. But is would have required proper management so far and clear objectives and goals etc.... This way so much less legal challenge. There will be some, I'm sure (see other post about Euro person below), but will cost less overall than a US class action.
I have been in companies where an old school CEO or COO, always with grown up children who have left the home, I might add, 'suddenly' decides to stop remote working and get everyone in 'where they can be seen to be contributing' Totally misses the point about what managing performance is supposed to be of course. But proper performance management requires earning the respect and loyalty of the team, not being parachuted in from an MBA course. And that requires work.