From Lights Out: Pride, Delusion, and the Fall of General Electric (2020,)
Rank-and-yank worked well for GE’s acquisitions, providing a formula for trimming fat and squeezing profits out of the operations. But some managers didn’t see it as helpful, especially after it had been used for a few years and some competent employees were ending up in the bottom 10 percent. You can trim fat only for so long. Also, some thought that the policy made workers fight each other for survival and inhibited managers’ ability to bring their workers together to operate as a team for the good of the company. One manager tried to subvert the system by putting an employee who’d recently died in the bottom 10 percent of the ranking list in order to save another employee’s job.