Warren Buffett is a loveable, avuncular chap, not one of those axe-wielding CEOs who are feared by employees and idolized by the kind of red-claw capitalists who think that firing lots of people is a major leadership skill.
Yet somehow he seems to have fired 21,000 people — 8.6% of his workforce — over the past year. And the cuts are being felt hardest by Berkshire’s poorest employees: some 3,000 textile workers have lost their jobs at Fruit of the Loom in El Salvador.
Alice Schroeder, Buffett’s biographer, explains that Buffett is expert at hiring “bad cops” to fire employees and to insulate himself from any blowback:
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